Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Glue-like polymer could replace sutures used for cataract surgery

11.10.2004


People who need cataract surgery, but don’t like the prospect of having their eyes sutured, may be in for some good news: A team of researchers has developed a novel, adhesive hydrogel that can be painted over incisions from cataract surgery and offers the potential for faster, improved repair, they say. The hydrogel may help avoid complications associated with sutures -- the most common repair method for those types of incisions -- or unsutured incisions that are left to heal on their own, another repair method of cataract surgery.



Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the United States, with over 1.5 million procedures performed each year, according to the National Eye Institute. The number is expected to increase with the growth in the aging population.

The transparent hydrogel is made of special polymer materials which act like the liquid bandages sold in stores for topical wounds. It is described in the Oct. 13 print issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.


"Sutures can be difficult to care for and are hard on the eyes," says study leader Mark W. Grinstaff, Ph.D., a chemist and biomedical engineer with Boston University. "Our hydrogel adhesive could ultimately replace the use of sutures for eye surgery altogether and go a long way toward improving patient care." His co-leader on this project is Terry Kim, M.D., of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

In addition to cataracts, Grinstaff says that using a hydrogel adhesive instead of sutures shows promise for repairing eye wounds associated with LASIK surgery, ulcers, corneal and retinal injuries, and others. Although animal and human testing is still needed, he and Dr. Kim believe the hydrogel could be available to physicians in three to four years.

Hydrogels have been used for several years in applications ranging from drug delivery to healing injured blood vessels, but using them to repair eye wounds is novel, Grinstaff says. In the current study, he and his associates crafted a transparent liquid hydrogel with optical properties similar to a human cornea.

Cataracts are characterized by the clouding of the lens, severely limiting vision. In a typical cataract removal procedure, physicians usually cut an incision in the cornea and then break up and remove the damaged lens using ultrasound, replacing it with a synthetic lens. The incision is either sealed with nylon sutures or allowed to "self-seal" on its own.

Both techniques have their drawbacks. Sutures can damage the tissue and increase the risk of inflammation, while self-sealing can be associated with leakage and an increased risk of infection, the researchers say. In some eyes allowed to self-seal, the incision does not always heal on its own and may subsequently require sutures.

In tests with a small number of human cadaver eyes, the researchers demonstrated that treatment with the sealant was potentially easier and much faster than the other procedures, without risking additional tissue damage, and was better at preventing fluid leakage from the eye. The tests involved making 3-mm incisions in 17 cadaver eyes to simulate cataract surgery. Seven eyes were left unrepaired, representing the self-sealing surgery technique; two were repaired with sutures; and eight were repaired with the hydrogel sealant.

The researchers hope to begin animal testing with the hydrogel in the near future.

Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.acs.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Scientists learn more about how gene linked to autism affects brain
19.06.2018 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht Overdosing on Calcium
19.06.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

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: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Carbon nanotube optics provide optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

How to track and trace a protein: Nanosensors monitor intracellular deliveries

19.06.2018 | Life Sciences

New material for splitting water

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>