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Contact Lens to Offer Vision Repair

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Contact Lens to Offer Vision Repair

New Contact Lens Could Save Your Vision

A remarkable new technology developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis, allows doctors to continuous monitoring pressure in the eye whilst directly administering the correct dose of medication, all in the form a contact lens.

By using lenses made from polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) – a material similar to everyday contact lenses – researchers are able to implant a grid of electrically conductive, antibiotic nanosilver particles which form 64 pressure points. Each of these points reads pressure in the eye and relays the data back to a computer.

Contact Lens to Offer Vision Repair

Researchers hope the new lenses will help save the eyesight of millions by offering a better understanding of diseases like glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness.

“It would be really helpful to measure the pressure inside the eye continuously,” said Tingrui Pan, a professor at the University of California, Davis, and co-author of a paper describing the lenses in Advanced Functional Materials.

Pressure inside the eye rarely stays constant; readings can vary widely from day to day even minute to minute. Depending on the patient, doctors only measure pressure every few months leaving much room for symptoms to worsen and go unnoticed. As James Brandt, a physician at UC Davis who is involved in the research points out,

“Compare that to another chronic disease like diabetes, where we can have blood sugar measurements several times a day,”

Medicine to lower the pressure inside the eye could also be loaded into the contact lens. A mild electrical charge, unnoticeable to the wearer, would push the medication into the eye and monitor its effect — or lack thereof.

Jack Cioffi, editor of the Journal of Glaucoma, explained that putting medication directly into a lens that people have to wear would ensure that patients were taking their medication.

“You trust that people are taking the medication, but we would like to ensure that they are compliant, and then see if the drugs are working.”

Cioffi notes that other available devices can monitor internal eye pressure, but they require implantation surgery, a risk that the new contact lenses would avoid.

“Overall, this device has good promise because it’s clear, can be made into a contact lens, is bio-compatible… and would make for a non-invasive intraocular pressure measuring device,”

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