Will New Carbon Material Revolutionize Surgical Treatment of Glaucoma?

August 11, 2010

A new carbon “nanomaterial” recently developed at the University of Dayton Research Institute for multi-purpose use in aircraft coatings, wind turbines and other large-scale commercial applications may also improve the lives of glaucoma sufferers by reducing the number of surgical procedures needed to treat the disease.

Researchers noted that currently, when surgical treatment of glaucoma is required, a silicone shunt is implanted in the eye to facilitate drainage of excess fluid that is causing intraocular pressure to rise. But because the body does not see silicone as a foreign material, the implant quickly becomes encapsulated with a type of scar tissue called fibroblasts as healing takes place around it. As scar tissue builds up over time, the tube can no longer drain fluid and must be replaced.

A new implantable tube created by researchers using the carbon material prevented the formation and build-up of fibroblasts, and as such, would preserve the longevity of the implant by keeping it from becoming blocked with scar tissue. The new material is also biocompatible, eliminating the risk for rejection by the body.

Successful animal testing will pave the way for FDA approval for clinical trials in humans, and the inventors expect the new tubes to be on the market within three years.

Read the full release on the Institute website.




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