Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Super glue: Tests show that adhesive could improve safety of LASIK eye surgery

Date:
August 27, 2012
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
Researchers have developed a glue mixture that may reduce risks after laser vision correction surgery. Recent studies describe a new protocol involving brinogen, ribo avin and ultraviolet light that could improve the safety of the corrective surgery.

Stacy Littlechild, a recent bachelor's degree graduate in biology, is believed to be the first Kansas State University undergraduate student to go on to attend Cardiff University in Wales, Great Britain, for a doctoral degree on a full-ride scholarship. Littlechild has written or co-authored more research publications than any other undergraduate student from the lab of Gary Conrad, university distinguished professor of biology.
Credit: Image courtesy of Kansas State University

Kansas State University researchers have developed a glue mixture that may reduce risks after laser vision correction surgery.

Stacy Littlechild, a recent bachelor's degree graduate in biology originally from Wakeeney, is the lead author of two studies that describe a new protocol involving fibrinogen, riboflavin and ultraviolet light that could improve the safety of the corrective surgery.

One study that demonstrates the ability of a glue to bind corneal surfaces has been published in the June edition of the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, or IOVS. Another study details the molecular mechanisms of how the glue creates adhesion and also will be published in IOVS.

LASIK, or laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis, surgery uses a laser to reshape the cornea, the eye's outer layer that helps the eye focus. Many patients have the surgery so they do not have to depend on glasses or contact lenses.

During the procedure, a flap is cut in the cornea so that a laser can remove corneal tissue. The hinged flap is returned to its original position and is held on to the laser-modified cornea with nothing but surface tension.

The cornea has a limited ability to firmly re-adhere the LASIK flap and does not fully heal after the procedure, said Gary Conrad, university distinguished professor in the Division of Biology. Conrad, the principal investigator of the research, studies eye development and was Littlechild's adviser.

"Although LASIK produces a flap that remains clear and normally lays smoothly on the modified corneal surface, if the eye is hit with blunt force trauma -- from an auto airbag or a tennis ball, for example -- the flap simply peels open again, resulting in contamination inside the cornea and requiring immediate medical attention, which can include corneal transplantation," he said.

Cornea transplantation replaces part of the cornea with cornea tissue from a donor and is the most common type of organ transplantation in the U.S. Rejection occurs in about 20 percent of cornea transplants, according to the Mayo Clinic.

"Although a cornea transplant is a routine outpatient procedure, we need to do everything we can to avoid such a transplant," Littlechild said. "These patients are in pain, out of work and can't see for a few days afterward. If we can decrease the need for transplants by using a glue, then we won't impede lives as much and protect patients from having future surgeries."

In the first study, Littlechild tested the glue using corneas removed from dogfish sharks and rabbits to measure adhesive strength.

She discovered that using glue made from fibrinogen and riboflavin and then binding proteins and glue together using ultraviolet light -- the type used in tanning salons -- provided the best adhesion to keep the cornea's flap in place. The substance is a nontoxic biodegradable glue that is used in cataract surgery and does not leave a cloudy scar.

"The idea is that if you use the glue, you'll either reduce or alleviate the risk associated with LASIK surgery," Littlechild said. "The hope is that you would never have to worry about needing a transplant later."

In a second study, Littlechild analyzed specific molecular interactions that are responsible for the adhesion. She found that both covalent and zinc-mediated non-covalent mechanisms contributed to the adhesion.

The finding could prompt further development of the glue and could reveal alternative uses throughout the body, Littlechild said. The glue has the potential to bond other body tissues that are similar in chemical and molecular composition to the cornea.

For instance, tendon tissue that connects muscle to bone is similar to the cornea. Tendon tissue often heals slowly because it does not have many blood vessels; likewise, the cornea does not have any blood vessels.

Other collaborators in the research include Gage Brummer, a senior in biochemistry and premedicine, Prairie Village; John Tomich, professor of biochemistry; and Yuntao Zhang, research assistant professor of biology. Scott McCall, a May 2010 bachelor's graduate in biochemistry, was the lead author on a related study detailing the effects of riboflavin and ultraviolet light used for strengthening the cornea connective tissue to treat keratoconus, the second-most frequent symptom requiring corneal transplantation.

Research funding came from the Maine IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence in support of work at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Salisbury Cove, Maine; the Kansas State University Johnson Cancer Research Center; Kansas IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence; National Center for Research Resources; and the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Littlechild plans to attend Cardiff University in Wales, Great Britain, to earn a doctorate in biophysics. Littlechild presented posters at two annual ophthalmology meetings that led to the invitation to continue her research at Cardiff.

"I would not be where I am today without Kansas State University and Dr. Conrad's continued support and patience," said Littlechild, who originally applied for a student office job in the Division of Biology until she received a phone call from Conrad. "I owe my undergraduate success and everything that develops from it to Dr. Conrad's unfailing efforts."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. S. Littlechild, Y. Zhang, J. M. Tomich, G. W. Conrad. Fibrinogen, Riboflavin and UVA to Immobilize a Corneal Flap - Molecular Mechanisms. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 2012; DOI: 10.1167/iovs.12-10201
  2. S. L. Littlechild, G. Brummer, Y. Zhang, G. W. Conrad. Fibrinogen, Riboflavin, and UVA to Immobilize a Corneal Flapz--Conditions for Tissue Adhesion. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 2012; 53 (7): 4011 DOI: 10.1167/iovs.12-9515

Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "Super glue: Tests show that adhesive could improve safety of LASIK eye surgery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827113251.htm>.
Kansas State University. (2012, August 27). Super glue: Tests show that adhesive could improve safety of LASIK eye surgery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827113251.htm
Kansas State University. "Super glue: Tests show that adhesive could improve safety of LASIK eye surgery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827113251.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins