Blind children may be able to see with artificial cornea advancements

November 1, 2007

Rochester, NY-A new device will give children with damaged corneas the ability to see again.

Rochester, NY-A new device will give children with damaged corneas the ability to see again.

Researchers from the University of Rochester are making advancements in an artificial cornea (Boston Keratoprosthesis), which is similar to an earlier version for adults but had not been tested on infants and children.

James Aquavella, MD, from the University of Rochester, says the improvements in the technology have been remarkable and have allowed the device to be a real sight-saving option for adults.

The plastic cornea, which resembles a contact lens, is sewn onto the eye. A piece of donor corneal tissue holds the implant in place. The material is a type of plastic that the eye will not reject and allows nutrients to enter the eye more quickly. A large contact lens is placed over the artificial cornea to help protect from inflammation and scarring

Out of the 15 children who had the procedure, all had some vision restored and none had an infection or a complication with the implant, according to Dr. Aquavella.