Researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear have created a gel that heals corneal wounds including cuts and sores. We won't acquire this material immediately; clinical studies begin in about a year. But keep GelCORE in mind as well because time goes by quickly.
A GEL LAYER FOR THE CORNEA
Injuries to the cornea are not uncommon.
What is usually done about it? There’s a surgical corneal transplant, but the procedure is risky. There are also some biocompatibility problems with synthetic adhesives, and they themselves can cause vision loss.
But now there’s good news. Scientists at Massachusetts Eye and Ear have developed a gel that seals cuts, sores, and other damages to the cornea.
Remember the name – GelCORE.
The gel is made from chemically-modified gelatin and a polymer that activates after brief exposure to light.
They apply the viscous material using a pipette or syringe. Then, when exposed to blue light, it hardens and acquires properties of the cornea.
But that’s not even the most magical part – eventually, the corneal cells combine with the gel to create one, homogenous tissue.
It is the first compound of its kind that reacts to visible blue light.
If you have already assumed the gel was tested on mice, you are mistaken. It was on rabbits. They applied a 3mm seal to the cornea, and the light exposure was 4 minutes.
IT LOOKS LIKE A REAL CORNEA
Then what? The gel adhered to the cornea immediately after the procedure. Just a day later, the surface of the eye was already natural in appearance.
The regenerative mechanism launches afterward. Ultimately, as we stated before, the new tissue does not differ from the original cornea.
Most likely, this will become universal in the treatment of many types of wounds, as well as the thinning of the cornea.
Clinical trials begin in about a year, so we won’t get this stuff right away. Time flies, though, so it’s not that much of a wait.