Special glue will save millions of people from blindness

Millions of people can be saved from blindness or the need for an operation on their eyes thanks to glue that preserves vision. The glue gel, developed by scientists from Harvard Medical School in Boston, contains chemicals that, when exposed to light, seal damage to the surface of the eye. The researchers hope that the glue, which will later be modified into eye drops, will help eliminate the need for corneal transplantation.The cornea is a very thin tissue that can be easily damaged by trauma or infection, and also sometimes by contact lenses or a fingernail. An eye infection or injury on the surface of the eye can lead to scarring, which causes blurring or complete loss of vision. Corneal transplantation is currently very difficult, as there is an acute shortage of donors. Every year more than 1.5 million new cases of blindness due to corneal damage are reported worldwide.

Laboratory tests of a substance called GelCORE have shown that it not only helps to regenerate corneal damage, but also promotes the growth of new tissues. The glue is made from chemically modified gelatin and molecules that are activated by blue light. The main function of the cornea is to focus the light. Initially, the glue is transparent and liquid, but when exposed to light, the material hardens, acquiring the natural structure of the cornea. Over time, the cornea cells gradually grow into the material, bind to it and restore the damaged tissue. According to scientists, the properties of GelCORE can be precisely controlled by varying the concentration and exposure time of the light. This makes it possible to change the formulation of glue for different types and degrees of eye injuries. It is worth noting that the use of blue light during treatment is safe, because blue light, unlike ultraviolet rays, does not cause cancer.

“We hope that this biomaterial will be able to fill a significant gap in the treatment of corneal injuries,” says Professor Reza Dana. The glue developers are planning to begin human trials over the course of a year.



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