Hydrophilicity refractive index shaping has potential to alter the refractive qualities of the cornea without changing its shape.
“You can essentially create a shape with a material plane, create a three-dimensional structure within an existing physical space without changing or disrupting the surface of the material or the tissue where the effect is aimed,” he said. “You can create a lens within a lens without disrupting the surface of the material, in this case an IOL.”
The femtosecond laser very precisely affects the hydrophilicity of the target material to alter its refractive characteristics in a limited area, Dr. Waring continued. The technology also exploits Fresnel optics to produce an effect called phase wrapping.
“Phase wrapping allows you to effect a large optical change efficiently in a small physical space,” he said. “This allows for larger treatments within an IOL. This could potentially offer numerous benefits in a clinical setting, in the laser suite, because the entire process is minimally invasive.”
Benchtop testing promises a wide variety of clinical applications. The technology allows the ophthalmologist to take control of most optical properties and qualities that affect both additive and subtractive measures, including spherical aberration, asphericity, toricity and multifocality.
The femtosecond laser that alters the optical qualities of the IOL is a proprietary application using a dedicated device, Dr. Waring said, but the laser form factor and liquid optic interface are intuitive and familiar to anyone who is used to docking or utilizing the femtosecond laser instruments now in clinical use.
The entire process is image guided and has been tested across multiple brands of acrylic IOPs with a high degree of precision across brands.
George O. Waring, IV, MD, FACS
E: [email protected]
This article was adapted from Dr. Waring’s presentation during Refractive Surgery Day at the 2018 meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He did not indicate financial interest in the subject matter.