Home Gadget World Implantable LCD eye lenses may make glasses obsolete

Implantable LCD eye lenses may make glasses obsolete

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The need of replacing aging or damaged eye lenses with artificial
lenses that do more than just restore eyesight has long been recognized. To cure age-related
long-sightedness problem, a researcher from University of Leeds is developing a unique,
auto-focusing liquid crystal lens.

Presbyopia, a condition that often occurs in people over the age of 45
years as the lenses in their eyes become stiffer and less flexible,
means that many of us need reading glasses or contact lenses as we grow
older. To overcome this problem, Devesh Mistry, a postgraduate research student has been conducting research on liquid crystal to produce a
completely adjustable artificial lens designed to surgically replace
presbyopic lenses. 

“As we get older, the lens in our eye stiffens, when the
muscles in the eye contract they can no longer shape the lens to bring
close objects into focus,” said Mistry. “Using liquid crystals, which we
probably know better as the material used in the screens of TVs and
smartphones, lenses would adjust and focus automatically, depending on
the eye muscles’ movement.”

As like the common replacement of lenses in human cataract operations,
Mistry believes that his new liquid crystal models would be implanted
in the same way to rejuvenate the ability of the eye to focus. 

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He also believes that, within a decade, this new
lenses being
implanted in a relatively simple surgical procedure where a small
incision in the cornea would be made and then ultrasound used to destroy
the old lens. This would then be removed and the new liquid crystal
lens put in its place.  

“Liquid crystals are a very under-rated phase of matter,” said Devesh.
“Everybody’s happy with solids, liquids and gases and the phases of
matter, but liquid crystals lie between crystalline solids and liquids.
They have an ordered structure like a crystal, but they can also flow
like a liquid and respond to stimuli.”

Working in collaboration with the Eurolens Research at the University
of Manchester, Devesh is also participating in continued improvements
to his device with UltraVision CLPL, a manufacturer concentrating on
specialized contact lenses. As well, Devesh continues to research and
develop his lens in the University of Leeds laboratory
and says that he should have a working prototype completed by the time
he finishes his doctorate in 2018. 
He believes that the first commercial
liquid crystal lenses developed from his research may go on sale
somewhere between six and ten years from now.

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