Eye Drops Offer Alternative Method of Correcting Refractive Errors
Wednesday, March 21 2018 | 00 h 00 min | Vision Science
The recently patented technology, known as Nano-Drops, developed at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, could provide a temporary treatment for hyperopia, myopia and presbyopia and an alternative to glasses.
Nano-drops, developed by a group at Bar-Ilan’s Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, work by modifying the local corneal refractive index. Nanoparticles are introduced via eyedrops, and the corneal epithelium is “stamped” with a pattern by a laser pulse. The nanoparticles activate and enhance this pattern by assembling in the stamped areas. The refractive index is locally changed by the assembled nanoparticles. By changing the pattern of the laser pulses, Nano-Drops can correct myopia, hyperopia and presbyopia.
The procedure is simple enough that it can supposedly be carried out at home, by a small laser connected to a smart phone. The laser stamping process is painless and takes milliseconds.
The technology has not yet been tested on humans, but has been shown to improve mild refractive errors in pigs, up to 3 diopters of myopia or presbyopia. Upcoming experiments are planned to determine if the nanoparticles have long term negative health effects on the cornea, and to refine the procedure to correct problems greater than 3 diopters.