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With tonometers currently in use intraocular pressure is indirectly determined by measuring a physical quantity related to a specified deformation of the cornea. We present a new principle of direct, continuous, and transcorneal intraocular pressure measurement, describe its theoretical foundation, and evaluate its application on the basis of an in vitro model.On a living human eye an optimized pressure-sensitive contact surface was determined by performing pressure measurements with differently shaped tonometer heads. Based on these results and on the theoretical model, a Dynamic Contour Tonometer was constructed and validated on eye bank bulbi against a manometric reference pressure.A concave contact surface with a radius of curvature of 10.5 mm creates a distribution of forces between the central contour matching area of the tip and the cornea that equals the forces generated by the internal pressure of the eye. A sensor integrated into the surface having the same contour measures the intraocular pressure closely to the manometric reference pressure in human cadaver eyes. The accuracy of the tonometer appears to be unaffected by variations in corneal properties.Dynamic Contour Tonometry eliminates most of the systematic errors arising from individual changes of corneal properties that adversely influence all types of applanation tonometers. The advantage of measuring the true pressure in combination with the capability of registering dynamic pressure fluctuations discloses new tonometric opportunities to diagnose and classify different types of glaucoma.