A team of Opthalmologists at Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Bar-Ilan University’s Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials developed eye-drops that have been found to repair the corneas and improve short and long sightedness. The nanoparticle solution called as “nanodrops” was successfully used on pigs’ corneas.
Clinical trials on humans are expected to be carried out later this year, and if successful, this revolutionary invention could potentially eliminate the need for eyeglasses. According to Dr. David Smadja, leader of the research team, the eye-drops could revolutionize ophthalmological and optometry treatments of patients suffering from myopia, hyperopia and other refractory conditions.
The revolutionary breakthrough was revealed by Dr. Smadja on Wednesday at Shaare Zedek’s second biennial research day, which was held at Steinberg Auditorium in Jerusalem. He said that nanodrops could even be used to replace multifocal lenses and allow people to see object from different distances.
“This is a new concept for correcting refractory problems,” Smadja said. He, however, did not mention how often the drops will require being applied to replace eyeglasses completely.
According to the research abstract, the experiment led by Dr. Smadja and his colleagues involved analyzing refractive errors of pig eyes before and after instillation of nano drops filled with various concentration of synthetic nanoparticles. The results showed significant improvement in error correction for both myopic (near-sightedness) and hyperopic (far-sightedness) refractive error.
If the results in humans are successful, prospective patients will simply require a smartphone app to scan the eyes, measure their refraction, create a laser pattern and then “laser corneal stamping” of an optical pattern onto the corneal surface of their eyes.
The research from Smadja was one of the two chosen works by an impartial team of judges from 160 pieces of research carried out by Shaare Zedek physicians and nurses over the last two years. The hospital staff publishes around 330 articles every year in different medical and science journals through the Shaare Zedek Mada’it (Scientific), a research and development company established for hospital researchers.
This isn’t the first time though that the use of nanotechnology in eye-drops was investigated. Increasing research in this field has opened new doors in the field of medicine and surgery. There has been significant research done already to develop nanotechnology-based systems to treat ocular diseases.
Researchers at UCL Institute of Opthalmology, London, demonstrated the possibility of creating formulations of tiny nanoparticles loaded with the AMD (age-related macular degeneration) drug Avastin. The resulting eye-drops can be safely and effectively used in patients compared to injecting drugs into the eyes, which is often uncomfortable.
In another recent experiment, researchers from National Taiwan Ocean University developed carbon quantum dots covered with spermidine to treat bacterial eye infections. The researchers believe that the new quantum dots has a good potential to be used in eye-drops to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause keratitis.