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Revolutionary eye drops could replace eyeglasses

04/04/2018By Matthew Woodley • Staff Journalist
Israeli researchers have developed ‘nanodrops’ that they claim can eliminate the need for eyeglasses and could be on the market within two years.

The eye doctors from Bar-Ilan University and the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre in Jerusalem, have had encouraging results from testing their drops, designed to combat myopia and hyperopia, on pigs’ corneas and human clinical trials are set to follow later in the year.

Dr David Smadja revealed the findings from his team’s research at Shaare Zedek’s second biennial research day, where he told The Jerusalem Post that the ‘nanodrops’ formula also had the potential to treat other refractory conditions, even those that require multifocal lenses.

“This is a new concept for correcting refractory problems,” Smadja said.


“We intend to finish in vivo tests within one year, and I hope that within two years the product may be available [on] the market.”
Zeev Zalevsky, project researcher

In order for the nanodrops to work effectively, patients need to use a smartphone application to measure their eye refraction, create a laser pattern, and then project a “laser corneal stamping” of an optical pattern onto the surface of the cornea. After the stamp has been made – a process that takes less than one second – drops with a synthetic nanoparticles solution can, in theory, correct the refractive issue.

“These nanoparticles go into the shallow ablated patterns generated on the surface of the cornea,” Professor Zeev Zalevsky, another researcher involved with the project, explained in an interview with online tech publication Digital Trends.

“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.”

According to Zalevsky, the treatment is considerably different to traditional laser surgery. The new process only affects the upper part of the cornea, which means it should be more effective for a greater number of patients.

However, as it is a milder treatment, it also means the eye will be able to gradually heal itself and therefore the procedure will need to be repeated every 1–2 months in order to maintain the improvements.

The new technique has already been performed successfully ex vivo on fresh pigs eyes with promising results.

“We showed that … the nanoparticles went into the surface patterns and that without them no correction is obtained,” Zalevsky said.

“We are now raising funds in order to commercialise this technology from Bar-Ilan University. We intend to finish in vivo tests within one year, and I hope that within two years the product may be available [on] the market.”

Image courtesy: Freepik | bearfotos



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