Scientists at Bar-Ilan University’s Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, in Tel Aviv, Israel, claim to have created some truly revolutionary eye-drops that can heal damaged corneas and improve vision.
Described as “a new concept for correcting refractory problems”, the nanodrops developed by ophthalmologist Dr. David Smadja and a team of scientists from Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Bar-Ilan University have so far been tested on pigs with damaged corneas. During a recent presentation, Smadja said that the eye-drops repaired the pigs’ corneas, producing improvements in both short-sightedness and long-sightedness.
Clinical testing on humans is scheduled to begin later this year, and researchers in charge of the project are confident that the nanoparticle solution could eliminate the need for eyeglasses. Dr. Smadja says that the nanodrops could not only revolutionize the ophthalmological and optometry treatments of patients with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and other refractory conditions, but also replace multifocal lenses, allowing people to see objects from various distances.
According to the Jerusalem Post, “patients would open an application on their smartphone, measure their eye refraction at home, create a laser pattern and then “laser corneal stamping” of an optical pattern onto the corneal surface of their eyes. This has already been done successfully on fresh pig eyes. Drops with a synthetic nanoparticles solution can correct the vision problem.”
It’s not clear how many of these nanodrops would be required to repair the cornea to the point where eyeglasses are no longer required, or, most importantly, how much the treatment would cost. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see how the clinical trials on humans turn out.
As someone who needs to wear eyeglasses just to see where they’re going, I’m very excited about this invention. Hopefully, it won’t share the fate of the many so-called cures for baldness that scientists have been announcing for decades now. I’m running out of time and hair!