The cornea is the clear anterior portion of the eye that surrounds the pupil and iris. It is crucial for the eye’s focusing power as it refracts light and is responsible for most of the eye’s optical power. Damage or destruction of the corneal layer can cause permanent visual impairment. In various conditions such as bullous keratopathy, corneal dystrophy, keratoconus, keratitis, corneal ulcer, and trauma, corneal damage may be beyond conservative repair.
Read Also: UC Berkeley Researchers Restore Vision in Mice Through Gene Insertion
In such situations, corneal transplantation is currently the only method for restoring vision. However, with a limited number of donors, most of the visually impaired do not get an opportunity to become a recipient of a corneal transplant. A cornea can only be obtained from a recently deceased person within 24 hours explaining its limited supply.
Read Also: An Artificial Retina to Restore Sight Could Soon Become a Reality
However, this issue may soon be resolved owing to a revolutionary breakthrough in Opthalmology which may provide a viable alternative to corneal transplantation. Researchers from Europe, North America, and Oceania have collaborated together to achieve this new approach to corneal replacement.
The team led by May Griffith from the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Center, which is affiliated with the University Of Montreal published the results of their findings in the journal Science Advances.
Up until now, Corneal perforations could only be completely treated via transplantation. Patients with corneal perforations have to be on a long waiting list for corneal donors due to a global shortage. Until a donor becomes available, their corneas are closed off with a medical-grade glue which is only a temporary solution and not tolerated well by the eyes. Their work has led to an effective and accessible solution called LiQD Cornea to treat corneal perforations without the need for transplantation.
LIQD Cornea is a biocompatible synthetic adhesive liquid hydrogel that can be applied as a liquid glue that can rapidly adhere to the corneal tissue sealing the perforation.
“This is good news for the many patients who are unable to undergo this operation due to a severe worldwide shortage of donor corneas,” said Griffith, a professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at University of Montreal.
Read Also: Age-related CA $15 Red Light Flashlight Could Help Improve Vision in Those Over 40lose-up Vision Loss- How do I rid myself of reading glasses?
This potentially life-altering treatment could help patients with corneal perforations avoid permanent vision loss.
“Vision is the sense that allows us to appreciate how the world around us looks,” said Griffith. “Allowing patients to retain this precious asset is what motivates our actions as researchers every day of the week.”
LiQD Cornea: Pro-regeneration collagen mimetics as patches and alternatives to corneal transplantation