The New LASIK Improvement, Adhesives
Lately, there has been a new development in a certain kind of laser driven vision surgery. Researchers from the Kansas State University have made some kind of an adhesive mixture which helps in reducing risks of a particular procedure called LASIK. The study’s lead author Stacy Littlechild describes the use of fibrinogen, riboflavin and UV rays to improve the rate of safety for corrective eye surgeries. Actually, she did not lead one but two studies relating to the same topic which may greatly help the development of eye care and corrective methods.
The first study demonstrated the ability of a glue to attach the corneal surfaces. This was published in the recent edition of the Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science or IOVS. In the same journal, another study is to be published and this time it’s about the molecular mechanisms of how that glue makes the adhesion. LASIK or laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis is a surgical procedure which uses laser to correct the shape of cornea, our eye’s outer layer. It helps our eyes to focus our vision.
A lot of patients want to undergo this type of procedure because they don’t want to use glasses or contact lenses. In the procedure a certain flap is cut in the cornea to allow the laser to remove the corneal tissue. The extra flap will then be returned to its original position and holds on to the laser-modified cornea with nothing but surface tension.
The problem is that the cornea does not easily firmly adhere to the LASIK flap and does not heal quickly after the procedure. This was according Gary Conrad a known professor in the said University. He was also Littlechild’s study adviser. He said, "Although LASIK produces a flap that remains clear and normally lays smoothly on the modified corneal surface, if the eye is hit with blunt force trauma -- from an auto airbag or a tennis ball, for example -- the flap simply peels open again, resulting in contamination inside the cornea and requiring immediate medical attention, which can include corneal transplantation".
The initial solution for this would be corneal transplant. This procedure replaces a certain part of the cornea with the corneal tissue from a donor. It’s actually the most common organ transplant in the US. However, 20% of this procedure ends up with what is known as rejection. Littlechild said, “Although a cornea transplant is a routine outpatient procedure, we need to do everything we can to avoid such a transplant, these patients are in pain, out of work and can't see for a few days afterward. If we can decrease the need for transplants by using glue, then we won't impede lives as much and protect patients from having future surgeries."
To measure the adhesive strength, she tested the glue with the use of corneas removed from certain animals like dogfish sharks and rabbits. She saw that using glue made from fibrinogen and riboflavin and then binding proteins and the combining them together using UV light, a type which is used in tanning salons. This proved to be an effective adhesive to place cornea’s flaps in place. The good thing is that the substance is non-toxic biodegradable glue that’s also used in cataract surgery and does not leave a scar.
It’s one amazing discovery from an undergraduate student. If studies will be made perfect anytime soon, it will be a huge step in the eye care field. It will prove of the procedures dynamic work to make everything safer.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 30 August 2012 00:17 )