Nanoparticle eye drops improve vision without need for surgery – research

MANILA, Philippines – Eyeglasses and contact lenses could soon be a thing of the past thanks to new research from Israel’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Bar-Ilan University.

A team of ophthalmologists from these institutes have engineered eye drops infused with nanoparticles that treat both near- and far-sightedness. The treatment process involves three steps, as Zeev Zalevsky, professor of electrical engineering and nanophotonics at Bar-Ilan University, told Digital Trends

The patient first measures his or her eye refraction with the use of a smartphone app. A laser pattern is then mapped by doctors onto the corneal surface of the eyes which takes less than a second. At this point, the patient can now use the eye drops that contain nanoparticles.

“These nanoparticles go into the shallow ablated patterns generated on the surface of the cornea,” Zalevsky explained. “They change the refraction index inside of those patterns. This corrects the visual problem the user has. The process of correction can be done at home without the need of a medical doctor.”

Unlike traditional laser eye surgery, this procedure only affects exterior of the eye and is safe enough for patients do in their own homes. Above all else, this new innovation should be more effective for far more patients.

On the flipside, this treatment may prove to be temporary with the eye eventually healing itself, degrading the improvements from the minor procedure. The treatment only lasts one to two months before patients need to go through the whole process again.

Having successfully tested the eye drops on pigs, the researchers are preparing for human clinical trials later this year. They hope to put the product out in the market in the next two years. –