We have seen our fair share of implants in the past, where a brain stem implant could actually help a boy hear, and here we are with research done on a small eye implant that was developed Stanford, where it will eventually allow patients to actually take more frequent readings directly from the comfort of their own home. In fact, this particular implant will also be able to perform daily or hourly measurements of eye pressure in order to help doctors tailor a more effective treatment plan.
Glaucoma is more often than not attributed to Internal optic pressure (IOP) as the main risk factor, and it is characterized by a continuous loss of specific retina cells and degradation of the optic nerve fiber. Right now, the reduction of IOP to normal or below-normal levels would be the only available treatment where glaucoma is concerned, and thanks to this new eye implant, it will be able to keep tabs on all that is happening.
Developed by Stephen Quake, a professor of bioengineering and of applied physics at Stanford, and ophthalmologist Yossi Mandel of Bar-Ilan University in Israel, this tiny implant comprises of a small tube, where one end will remain open to the fluids that fill the eye; while on the opposite end there is a cap with a tiny bulb that is filled with gas. The higher the IOP figure, intraocular fluid will be pushed into the tube; allowing the gas to push back against this flow. Researchers have so far discovered that 24-hour IOP monitoring would end up in a change in treatment in up to 80% of patients, now how about that? [Press Release]
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