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Last updateWed, 13 Jan 2021 10am

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Nanotechnology-based dynamic iris to correct eye diseases

Scientists from the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona (IMB-CNM-CSIC) and the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) have developed a dynamic iris that adapts to light and simulates the real response of the human eye because of its composition. A polymer of ophthalmological application to implement in contact lenses or eye prostheses.

Dynamic iris model over an artificial eye.Current eye technologies for the creation of dynamic irises present difficulties in adapting to light, although they can be adapted in size. A new material developed by the CSIC and the ICN2 has demonstrated the ability to adapt to the incident light and simulate the real response of the iris in any circumstance.

The advance, for which a priority patent application has been filed, can be implemented in contact lenses or prostheses and could correct deformations of the eye or problems associated with eye diseases. Aniridia -chronic disease characterised by the absence of iris-, Adie syndrome -neurological disorder that affects the pupil and responds to light more slowly-, anisocoria -asymmetry of pupil' sizes- or loss of vision of an eye -with the need for a prosthesis- are some of the disorders that can be treated. In all cases, increased exposure to light or uneven exposure eventually damages the pupil.

“We are in the development phase and we will continue working on the properties of the material,” explains Mar Álvarez, a project researcher at the IMB-CNM-CSIC. "The adaptation to light is a common problem suffered by people who have a prosthesis in one eye, since it is noted that the two do not act in the same way," Alvarez adds about one of the applications. It is not just an aesthetic issue but, the researcher adds, it can "generate insecurity in the person by becoming visible that they wear a prosthesis."

The dynamic iris would not require surgical intervention and it would work as a normal contact lens.

This iris has been possible thanks to a special material, a polymer that responds to light, absorbing it in a wide range of the spectrum and transforming it into heat. These characteristics make it a candidate for other applications such as solar panels, radiation sensors, flexible thermoelectric or photothermal energy.

Contact
Isabel Gavilanes-Pérez, PhD.
Deputy Vice-Presidency for Knowledge Transfer.
Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
Tel .: +34 - 93 594 77 00
Fax: +34 - 93 580 14 96
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