Aug. 15, 2007 A newly developed method for coating the intraocular lenses (IOLs) used in millions of cataract surgery procedures may prevent a common complication of cataract surgery, according to a new report. Such surgery corrects the vision loss that occurs when the lens of the eye becomes clouded.
Christine Jérôme and colleagues report development of a method for applying a polyethylene glycol coating to IOLs. In laboratory experiments, researchers showed that the coating reduced accumulation of the protein film and adhesion of cells responsible for formation of secondary cataracts.
The coating did not affect the optical properties of the lens. It also could be applied to certain other surfaces in order to discourage undesirable protein accumulation and adhesion of cells, the report states.
During the operation, a small incision in the front of the lens capsular bag is used to remove the clouded crystalline lens. The IOL is inserted into the empty capsular bag. Researchers noted that IOL replacement surgery is a safe and well-established procedure to correct the vision loss from a cataract. In about 25 percent of cases, however, the back portion of the capsule eventually becomes clouded with a "secondary" cataract. Jérôme notes that treatment is available for secondary cataracts, but describes it as risky.
The article "Improved Performances of Intraocular Lenses by Poly(ethylene glycol) Chemical Coatings" is scheduled for the Aug. 13 issue of ACS' Biomacromolecules.
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