Thousands of Ontario patients undergo cataract surgery on an annual basis. Cataracts have been described as an inevitable consequence of aging; as the population ages, the number of lenses removed and replaced with a polymer based replacement will continue to increase. Yet, despite the long success of intraocular lenses, complication rates remain unacceptably high. While advances in materials and lens design have decreased these numbers, the need for secondary treatment remains unacceptably high. As many as 30% of adult patients who undergo cataract surgery will require a second treatment to remove secondary cataracts that form as a result of the natural healing processes of the lens. In the pediatric population, these numbers are much higher with 80% or more requiring secondary treatment.
The C20/20 Solution
These secondary cataracts form as a result of the natural ocular wound healing processes, forming opaque plaques in a process known as Posterior Capsule Opacification (PCO). It has been shown that transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) plays a critical role in the wound healing processes that lead to the formation of these secondary cataracts and that inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases, as well as antibodies to TGF-beta can minimize these cellular changes. Specifically, we will:
- Perform lens material modification to minimize posterior capsule opacification (PCO)
- Conduct in vitro characterization of materials
- Carryout in vivo characterization of materials