Laser-Assisted, Noninvasive, Permanent Vision Correction

About 60% of the United States population possesses a refractive correction aid. Although the majority of this population relies on spectacles or contact lenses, the permanent correction of refractive error is an attractive choice for many patients. It is estimated that almost 1 million patients undergo corneal refractive surgery each year in the United States alone. Despite a relatively high success rate and positive outcomes, vision correction surgery is an invasive procedure, which thins and weakens the cornea and subjects patients to post-surgical complications. We have introduced a novel, laser-assisted, method to perform spatially resolved modifications of the mechanical and biochemical properties of corneal tissue, resulting in the change of its macroscopic geometry. The proposed treatment modality can be utilized for correction of refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and irregular astigmatism. The proposed treatment is noninvasive and as such has potential to be an effective alternative to surgical vision correction. If implemented in clinical practice it would expand the pool of eligible patients while simultaneously eliminating side effects associated with the surgeries, such as diminishing of corneal mechanical properties and post-surgical wound healing.

Columbia Affiliations
Mechanical Engineering