Nanoparticle Eye Drops
A group of Ophthalmologists at the Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials Bar-Ilan University, in Tel Aviv Israel have been working on new technology. The technology consists of eye drops that contain nanoparticles. It has the potential to restore refractive errors in vision. At some point, this technology could eliminate the need for eyeglasses and corrective lenses. This treatment can correct both nearsightedness and farsightedness.
Eye drops with nanoparticles
More specifically, the purpose of the study is “To investigate the capacity of eye drops filled with a solution of nanoparticles with particular optical properties to correct various range of refractive errors”. The European Society of Cataract Surgeons published the methods and results of testing as follows:
“Experimental study analyzing the refractive errors of 10 pig eyes measured with an automated refractometer before and after instillation of eye drops filled with various concentration of synthetic nanoparticles. The magnitude of the refractive change, the corneal refractive index, and the corneal shape modification have been recorded as well as an electronic microscopic exam in order to identify the nano-particles inside the cornea.”
Digital Trends spoke with Zeev Zalevsky an engineer who is working on the project and learned that the use of a smartphone app will be required and is used to measure the refraction of the eye.
“A laser pattern is then created and projected onto the corneal surface of the eyes. This surgical procedure takes less than one second. Finally, the patient uses eyedrops containing what Zalevsky describes as “special nanoparticles.”
“These nanoparticles go into the shallow ablated patterns generated on the surface of the cornea,” he 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.”
“A mean correction of 2,24 +/- 0.07D has been achieved for myopic refractive error testing, whereas a correction of 1,96+/-0.2D has been achieved for hyperopic refractive error. No statistically significant changes have been observed in the corneal central keratometry. Encapsulated hyperreflective nanoparticles of 0.58nm diameter on average were observed throughout the first 60microns of the corneal thickness.”
Clinical testing of this breakthrough technology on humans is expected to begin later this year.
This is another example of how technology is working towards making us healthier and improve our lives. These new eye drops filled with synthetic nanoparticles show promising potential as a non-invasive method for correcting refractive errors. Seniors and anyone with refractive errors in their vision could benefit from this technology. But don’t get rid of your eyeglasses just yet. As promising as this research is, it will have to go through clinical trials and made commercially available.
While there are lots of promising technologies out there, the best thing you can do for your eyes is to visit your optometrist and makes sure that you have the proper prescription for your eyeglasses. Give it a few more years before thinking about buying this kind of technology.