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Editorials

New contact lens capable of treating eye injuries

Stepping up in med-tech, scientists have created a new contact lens that can act as a bandage to human eye. Sci
Published November 5, 2018 Updated November 6, 2018

Stepping up in med-tech, scientists have created a new contact lens that can act as a bandage to human eye.

Scientists from Queensland University of Technology have created a better alternative to normal bandages, made from amniotic membrane of human placentas, used to cover a damaged eye cornea – a wound-healing contact lens.

Though amniotic membranes are anti-inflammatory and anti-scarring containing growth factors to promote wound healing, scientists argue that those traits vary greatly between individuals. One of the scientists Damien Harkin claimed that those donated membranes are also often short in supply, as per New Atlas.

In a first, scientists successfully 3D print human eye corneas

Thus, Harkin created a sclera lens, a large therapeutic contact lens that creates a tear-filled vault over the cornea. The lens’ inside surface is coated with limbal mesenchymal stromal cells that can be harvested from readily-available donor eye tissue, ordinarily discarded after corneal transplants. As per Harkin, these cells have more consistent wound-healing traits than the amniotic membranes and are also easier to obtain.

“These cells, known as limbal mesenchymal stromal cells (L-MSC), would be isolated from donor eye tissue and subsequently attached to the inner surface of a special type of contact lens known as a scleral lens,” said Harkin.

“Our therapy could provide welcome relief for patients suffering from chronic conditions such as corneal ulcers and persistent surface defects that haven’t responded to conventional therapies,” he says.

“The new treatment could also become useful as a part of the first-line therapy in the management of acute eye injuries experienced in the work place or at home arising from exposure to caustic chemicals, scalding liquids or excessive heat.”

For the future, scientists hope that clinical trials with additional funded can make lenses available for use on patients within few years, wrote Deccan Chronicle.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2018

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