Engineers invent a noninvasive technique to correct vision


Corneal topography prior to and after the treatment, coupled with virtual vision that mimics impacts of caused refractive power modification. Credit: Sinisa Vukelic/ColumbiaEngineering.

Nearsightedness, or myopia, is an increasing issue all over the world. There are now two times as many individuals in the United States and Europe with this condition as there were 50 years earlier. In East Asia, 70 to 90 percent of teens and young people are nearsighted. By some price quotes, about 2.5 billion of individuals around the world might be impacted by myopia by2020

Eye glasses and contact lenses are basic services; a more irreversible one is corneal refractive surgical treatment. But, while vision correction surgical treatment has a reasonably high success rate, it is an intrusive treatment, topic to post-surgical issues, and in uncommon cases irreversible vision loss. In addition, laser-assisted vision correction surgical treatments such as laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) still utilize ablative technology, which can thin and in many cases deteriorate the cornea.

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ColumbiaEngineering scientist Sinisa Vukelic has actually established a brand-new non-invasive technique to completely correct vision that reveals terrific guarantee in preclinical designs. His technique utilizes a femtosecond oscillator, an ultrafast laser that provides pulses of extremely low energy at high repeating rate, for selective and localized modification of the biochemical and biomechanical residential or commercial properties of corneal tissue. The technique, which alters the tissue’s macroscopic geometry, is non-surgical and has less adverse effects and constraints than those seen in refractive surgical treatments. For circumstances, clients with thin corneas, dry eyes, and other irregularities can not go through refractive surgical treatment. The research study, which might lead to treatment for myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and irregular astigmatism, was released May 14 in NaturePhotonics

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“We think our study is the first to use this laser output regimen for noninvasive change of corneal curvature or treatment of other clinical problems,” states Vukelic, who is a speaker in discipline in the department of mechanical engineering. His technique utilizes a femtosecond oscillator to change biochemical and biomechanical residential or commercial properties of collagenous tissue without triggering cellular damage and tissue interruption. The technique permits sufficient power to cause a low-density plasma within the set focal volume however does not communicate sufficient energy to trigger damage to the tissue within the treatment area.

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“We’ve seen low-density plasma in multi-photo imaging where it’s been considered an undesired side-effect,”Vukelic states. “We were able to transform this side-effect into a viable treatment for enhancing the mechanical properties of collagenous tissues.”

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The vital part to Vukelic’s technique is that the induction of low-density plasma triggers ionization of water particles within the cornea. This ionization develops a reactive oxygen types, (a kind of unsteady particle which contains oxygen which quickly responds with other particles in a cell), which in turn engages with the collagen fibrils to type chemical bonds, or crosslinks. The selective intro of these crosslinks causes modifications in the mechanical residential or commercial properties of the dealt with corneal tissue.

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When his technique is used to corneal tissue, the crosslinking changes the collagen residential or commercial properties in the dealt with areas, and this eventually leads to modifications in the total macrostructure of the cornea. The treatment ionizes the target particles within the cornea while preventing optical breakdown of the corneal tissue. Because the procedure is photochemical, it does not interfere with tissue and the caused modifications stay steady.

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“If we carefully tailor these changes, we can adjust the corneal curvature and thus change the refractive power of the eye,” statesVukelic “This is a fundamental departure from the mainstream ultrafast laser treatment that is currently applied in both research and clinical settings and relies on the optical breakdown of the target materials and subsequent cavitation bubble formation.”

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“Refractive surgery has been around for many years, and although it is a mature technology, the field has been searching for a viable, less invasive alternative for a long time,” states Leejee H. Suh, Miranda Wong Tang Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Columbia University Medical Center, who was not included with the research study. “Vukelic’s next-generation modality shows great promise. This could be a major advance in treating a much larger global population and address the myopia pandemic.”

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Vukelic’s group is presently constructing a scientific model and strategies to begin scientific trials by the end of the year. He is likewise looking to establish a method to forecast corneal habits as a function of laser irradiation, how the cornea may warp if a little circle or an ellipse, for instance, were dealt with. If scientists understand how the cornea will act, they will be able to customize the treatment– they might scan a client’s cornea then usage Vukelic’s algorithm to make patient-specific modifications to enhance his/her vision.

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“What’s especially exciting is that our technique is not limited to ocular media—it can be used on other collagen-rich tissues,”Vukelic includes.”We’ve also been working with Professor Gerard Ateshian’s lab to treat early osteoarthritis, and the preliminary results are very, very encouraging. We think our non-invasive approach has the potential to open avenues to treat or repair collagenous tissue without causing tissue damage.”


Explore even more:
Researchersinvent nano-drops that enhance nearsightedness and farsightedness.

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More details:
ChaoWang et al, Femtosecond laser crosslinking of the cornea for non-invasive vision correction, NaturePhotonics(2018). DOI: 10.1038/ s41566-018-0174 -8.

Journal recommendation:
NaturePhotonics.

Provided by:
ColumbiaUniversity School of Engineering and AppliedScience

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