Fathers of corrective laser eye surgery honoured
Sunday, January 6 2013 | 00 h 00 min | News
In the United States, the National Academy of Engineering presented the prestigious Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ prize to three scientists whose work has led to the development of PRK and LASIK eye surgery.
Rangaswamy Srinivasan, James J. Wynne and Samuel E. Blum will receive their awards at a gala dinner event in Washington, D.C., in February. The highest honour in the field of bioengineering, this award comes with a $500,000 grant.
At the end of 2011, nearly 25 million people had undergone pulsed ultraviolet laser surgery to improve their eyesight, a procedure made possible by the discovery of ablative photodecomposition.
In the early part of the 1980s, Srinivasan, Wynne and Blum discovered that such a laser could irradiate animal tissue with great precision without causing damage to the surrounding tissue. Srinivasan and Wynne then tested the procedure on human tissue. Finally, in 1983, Rangaswamy Srinivasan, along with co-workers Bodil Braren and Stephen Trokel, published a paper in American Journal of Ophthalmology on the potential benefits of this laser for corrective eye surgery.