An engineering team at the University of Dundee has just secured funding to work with European colleagues on the construction of artificial corneas which will allow all cornea replacements to go ahead without the patient having to wait for a donor.
The Euro 2.4m project will help people who suffer from a number of diseases requiring corneal grafting including keratoconus - a thinning of the cornea. Instead of relying on donor corneas from an eye bank, the new technology invented by biochemists, tissue engineers and structural engineers will allow the European team to grow the cornea from human stem cells in a test tube.
The team of structural engineers at the University of Dundee who will be testing the mechanical properties of the new cornea - its elasticity, resistance and strength - are the only UK team to be part of the European research project into this revolutionary cornea. The other teams are based in Sweden, Turkey, Denmark and France and Italy where surgeons will be testing the new corneas.
Jenny Marra | University of Dundee
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Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
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Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
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Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
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