Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Contact lenses inside the eyes


INASMET Foundation, a member of the TECNALIA Corporation from the Basque Country, is currently carrying out research on intraocular lenses. In fact, INASMET presented two projects at the 17th European Congress on Biomaterials held in Barcelona. Apart from publishing the results of a comparative study on intraocular lenses, they presented a project, currently under development, on intracorneal lenses.

This project started three years ago in collaboration with the Hospital de Donostia, the Department of Organic Chemistry of the University of the Basque Country and the Biomaterials Department at Inasmet.

Intracorneal lenses

As its name suggests, intracorneal lenses are implanted into the cornea. The cornea is the first of the lenses of which the eye is made up, and the most external. The function of these lenses is to correct problems such as myopia, hypermetropia and astigmatism.

The surgical technique in implanting these lenses is very straightforward. Apart from the fact that the operation has to be reversible, using suitable material to make the lenses is fundamental. Inasmet’s involvement in this project specifically targets analysis of materials for the manufacture of the lenses. The main aim is directed at the design, the properties and the production of a material compatible with the cornea.


To achieve biocompatibility, biomaterials are used. Biomaterials are materials capable of fulfilling the functions of the tissues and, thus, enabling the creation of organs or part thereof. In this current research, INASMET is analysing a material called PHEMA.

PHEMA is an hydrogel. Hydrogels have the following properties: net structure, elasticity, permeability, water absorption characteristics, etc. Given these properties, it is the habitual material used in lenses today. But when we are dealing with intracorneal lenses, things become complicated, given that the cornea has very special characteristics.

Active material

In order to be compatible with the features of a cornea, using biomaterials is not always enough. This is why, to ensure better biocompatibility, active materials are used.

The biomaterial being investigated at INASMET has a synthetic composition amongst its components. The enzymes secreted by the body in immunological response adhere to this composition and, given that the union is irreversible, these enzymes are inhibited. In this way, the body’s immune response can be halted or weakened. This fact is very important so that the material does not disintegrate, given that the lens has to last for years inside the eye. This technique is known as materials functionalisation and we say that the material is active.

All the research carried out to date has illustrated the potential of the material, but many trials are still to be done before intracorneal lenses are put on to the market. Amongst others, trials have to be carried out to achieve lenses of different dioptres, to perfect the surgical technique involved and the final trials to determine the exact composition of the material.

The project has nevertheless brought together research fields as far apart and, at the same time, as close to each other, as chemistry, materials science and medicine.

Garazi Andonegi | Elhuyar
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

The gene of autumn colours

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Polymer scaffolds build a better pill to swallow

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>