Glaucoma patients can use implants to treat the condition by draining the eye, but the existing technology rarely lasts more than a few years thanks to the accumulation of microorganisms that wreck the functionality. A Purdue-led team might have a clever technological solution, using magnetism.
The group has developed a smart implant that cleans itself with microactuators that vibrate whenever you induce a magnetic field. It would not only be far more reliable, but could be customizable as well.
The implant also has the ability to change its flow resistance. Unlike many other implants, you could tailor this device to specific people and keep it updated as the glaucoma changes over time. Patients might have better eyesight for longer.
Scientists are currently trying to patent the technology, and are hoping to find companies willing to license it. If that happens, the new implant could become a recommended treatment for glaucoma patients who’ve otherwise had to settle for more temporary solutions.
Source: Purdue, Nature