Against Presbyopia | EurekAlert! – Tips & Results

Researchers from UPV, UV and AIKEN Foundation have developed the first fully transparent trifocal corneal inlay

Image: Researchers from UPV, UV and AIKEN Foundation have designed the first fully transparent trifocal corneal inlay
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Photo credit: UPV

As a result of five years of research, they have created the first trifocal corneal inlay that is also fully transparent. Such an inlay would provide presbyopic people with good vision of objects located at several distances: far, medium (computers, mobile devices) and near. Her work has been published in the Nature Group Scientific Reports Diary.

“This inlay could be an alternative for people with presbyopia who prefer not to wear glasses or contact lenses. In addition, it would be fully compatible with laser refractive surgery in both myopic and hyperopic patients and possible subsequent cataract surgery. We are proposing something completely new, which is also not incompatible with any other eye therapy,” emphasizes Juan Antonio Monsoriu, researcher at the Center for Physical Technologies of the Universitat Politècnica de València.

In this sense, Dr. Salvador García-Delpech of the Aiken Foundation pointed out that unlike others that currently exist, this inlay would not prevent subsequent examination of the retina or macula and even surgical intervention if necessary.

He also adds that screens, mobile phones, electronic devices … nowadays have become a basic need in our daily life and the number of patients asking to stop using glasses in their daily life is increasing. “Let’s also consider the face mask effect: many people, due to the use of face masks, cannot carry out their work with fogged glasses and are looking for a practical solution to this problem,” adds García-Delpech, referring to changes that the population of this ” exposed to the “new normal”.

First fully transparent diffractive inlay

The inlay consists of a diffractive lens made of a biocompatible material. “It is extremely thin – less than 5 microns – and would therefore be inserted into the stroma of the cornea, essentially without disturbing its structure, in a cavity created with a femtosecond laser. The lens is micro-perforated, which allows the flow of the necessary nutrients in this part of the cornea,” explains Walter D. Furlan, researcher at the Department of Optics and Optometry and Vision Sciences at the University of Valencia. But the main novelty of the researchers’ work goes further, as it is the first fully transparent diffractive insole.

Another distinguishing feature compared to conventional inlays is the larger flow area for the nutrients. ‘This would reduce the likelihood of rejection once placed in the patient’s cornea,’ stresses Vicente Ferrando, also a researcher at the Center for Physical Technologies at Universitat Politècnica de Valencia.

In addition, some of its design parameters can be adjusted, opening a new option for the treatment of presbyopia, with the development of fully customized trifocal corneal inlays, that is: tailor-made for each patient.

It overcomes all of the disadvantages of current corneal insoles

Traditionally, treatment for presbyopia has been through the use of glasses, bifocals and progressive contact lenses. There are multifocal intraocular lenses, which generally replace the eye’s crystalline lens, and intracorneal inserts for surgical treatments. In the latter case, there are currently two types, according to the researchers: small-aperture inlays and refractive inlays. “The first type produces an extension of depth of field that achieves intermediate vision, but its light output is low because it is partially opaque. The second type achieves bifocality, so it performs well for both nearsighted and farsighted people. although it loses quality at medium distances. According to the tests we have developed, our design overcomes all these disadvantages,” stresses Juan Antonio Monsoriu.

In these tests, the UPV and UV team demonstrated the feasibility of this groundbreaking trifocal intracorneal inlay design. To do this, they assessed its optical quality by comparing it to another model currently used in clinical practice, first numerically using commercial software and then experimentally in an artificial eye using an adaptive optics-based visual simulator.

These studies are part of Diego Montagud Martínez’s doctoral thesis recently presented at the UPV.

According to the results obtained, the next step will be to start the studies on patients – in a non-invasive way – with the aforementioned visual simulator and in collaboration with the AIKEN eye clinic.

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