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Improving Glaucoma Surgery Through… Pancakes?

At the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology, scientists are improving surgical techniques for glaucoma treatments by looking at an unlikely source: the fluid mechanics of cooking pancakes.

When the pancakes were made with thin batter, the water vapour escapes through channels on the surface, leaving a distinctive pattern of pits and a ring around the outer edge of the pancake.

So how does this relate to ophthalmology? Like a pancake, the human eye may be mathematically modeled as a flexible sheet.

Co-author Professor Sir Peng Khaw, Director of the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, explains: “To treat [glaucoma], surgeons create an escape route for the fluid by carefully cutting the flexible sheets of the sclera. We are improving this technique by working with engineers and mathematicians. It’s a wonderful example of how the science of everyday activities can help us with the medical treatments of the future.”

Further information: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0116/08012016-pancakes/

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