29. November 2010 12:55
Researchers from St Andrews University believe that creating a contact lens that gives its user perfect vision may soon be possible.
A new technique has been developed by the scientist from the university, consisting in separating the meta-atoms from their substrate and subsequently putting them together and thus producing a new, almost visible, flexible material, called Meta-flex. Dr Andrea Di Falco, who led the study, assures that the material may be used to create novel contact lenses.
Meta-flex may be turned into smart fabrics, which – when put on the surface of soft contact lenses - could substantially improve their characteristics and provide their wearers with perfect vision. These lenses will be free from any deficiencies, such as aberration or limited resolution, found in currently available contact lenses.
It is yet not known when the new material will be ready for commercial application, but the researchers are confident that it will happen soon.
15. November 2010 11:09
American patients who had problems finding silicone hydrogel lenses that would fit their eyes can buy lenses designed especially for them now.
Silicone hydrogel contact lenses, introduced in 2002, are in many respects superior to traditional hydrogel lenses, mainly because they have higher gas permeability. However, they were not available to all patients in need of vision correction due to the limited number of versions large contact lenses manufacturers offered.
Now, the situation has changed thanks to Contamac, a UK supplier of contact lens materials, which has received American Food and Drug Administration’s approval for a silicone hydrogel material that smaller manufacturers will be using for the production of custom contact lenses.
The material is called Definitive and is characterised by a three times higher oxygen permeability than conventional hydrogel materials, resulting in a lower risk of infections, red eye and other complications connected with contact lens use.
Definitive differs from other silicone hydrogel materials in that it designed to be lathe-cut to produce customised lenses. By contrast, large manufacturers usually use moulding processes, which reduce costs, but limit the number of available contact lens designs.
12. November 2010 14:07
A recent study has revealed new information about how common dry eye is in Britain. According to the report, the problem affects millions of people around the UK, and over thirty percent of them lose one night of sleep every month because of discomfort associated with the issue.
However, it has been discovered that less than a half of those who suffer from eye soreness or itching seek immediate help, and ten percent of such individuals wait more than six months before visiting a doctor.
Fortunately there are numerous treatments that help to solve the problem. The newest one is called Rohto Dry Eye Relief and is claimed to be a revolutionary product. It contains HydraMed, a natural bi-polymer, which brings immediate relief. In addition, the drops help do rehydrate the eye, which is necessary to repair any damage to the surface of the eye that might have occurred.
Rohto Dry Eye Relief is indicated for all patients with dry eye, regardless of whether they wear contact lenses or not.
10. November 2010 14:55
As the world is in need of more effective, functional and affordable technology solutions to clinical medical problems, the biomedical and bioengineering industry awards students who come up with new solutions in the area. The competition, sponsored by the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), is called BMEStart and its winners receive $10,000. This year, the prize went to students from North Carolina State University, who designed HydrEYE CorneOasis contact lenses.
The lenses, capable of hydrating the eye, are designed for patients with no control over their eyelid function, especially comatose patients after traumatic brain injury. In addition, patients with some facial nerve disorders (e.g. Bell's palsy) may also benefit from using the system.
All competition entries are evaluated on the basis of several criteria, including technical and economic feasibility, contribution to human health, innovation and commercialisation potential. The details of the next year’s competition are to be announced presently.
7. November 2010 11:18
Infection remains one of the most common complications associated with contact lenses use. That is why contact lens wearers are advised to use appropriate solutions to clean their lenses. However, the results of new research may soon change it.
Scientists at University of South Australia have found a way to apply antibacterial coatings to medical devices so that they are bound permanently. This is achieved by binding them to a special polymer, which is subsequently put on medical devices such as catheters or contact lenses.
According to Hans Griesser, who wrote the report from the study, the material that they are using is different from the ones that are currently used. Because of that, it is effective against numerous microbes, including a dangerous strain of Staphylococcus aureus that is resistant to methicillin.
The research is still in progress, but the scientists are hoping that they will soon find commercial applications and patients will start benefitting from their invention.