Navigation Links
Medical Breakthrough from Mercy Research & Development Can Protect Wounded Warriors' Sight and Help Everyday Americans

Springfield, MO (PRWEB) June 21, 2013

When an improvised explosive device blows up in the face of an American soldier, medics rush to treat life-threatening injuries. That often means injuries to the eyes, which account for nearly 40 percent of all war wounds, can go untreated for days, frequently resulting in blindness.

Now, scientists at Mercy Research and Development (R&D) in Springfield, Mo., have a solution, thanks to a $4.8 million research grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. Mercy scientists have developed prototype contact lenses capable of delivering medication. They’re designed for medics to apply to soldiers’ eyes right on the battlefield - immediately stabilizing the eye and preserving vision.

“This research project is the most personal thing I’ve done in my career,” said Dr. Shachar Tauber, Mercy section chair of ophthalmology and optometry and principal investigator on this research and product development. “My father was injured in war, causing blindness in one eye and diminished sight in the other. Making sure our soldiers not only live, but live to literally see their families again, is so important to me.”

Other researchers have been working on similar projects for decades, but Dr. Tauber looked at it from a different angle. He had the idea to apply a Nobel prize-winning breakthrough - electrospun polymer fibers - to the world of ophthalmology. “We decided to impregnate those fibers with medication,” he explained. “More than a few experts said it couldn’t be done, but we now have the test results and the patent to prove the science works.”

Mercy researchers have developed several lenses with different uses. One lens can simultaneously deliver a steroid and an antibiotic to reduce swelling and fight infection for up to seven days. When wounds involve lacerations to the cornea, another product works as a sealant to hold the wound shut for up to three days, while also delivering medication. That allows time for the soldier to be transported to a military hospital for surgery.

“Another great thing about this research is its applications beyond military needs,” said Keela Davis, director of Mercy R&D. “The base lens can be infused with just about any drug for the eye and made available to everyone. We know when patients are prescribed eye drops for things like glaucoma or pink eye, the medication only reaches the eye about a quarter of the time. That’s either because the patients don’t use the eye drops, or the medication lands somewhere else. Eye drop installation is difficult, plus tears immediately dilute the drug and wash it away. This solves those problems and will lead to improved visual outcomes for patients.”

Now that researchers have tested prototypes that work, they still have one obstacle to overcome before the contacts can get to the battlefield. “They need to be mass produced,” explained Davis. “We are looking to license the technology to an established company or find an investor to help us set up the manufacturing process here.”

Patent number: 8,083,347 B2
For video with no supers or music, please visit
For complete video, please visit
For still pictures, please visit

Background Information:
The Corneal Wound Repair Program is a partnership with Mercy Medical Research Institute, the United States Army, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Missouri State University and the University of Colorado.

Funding for the project came from a Department of Defense grant. Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, who was then a congressman, requested the funding in 2008 as part of the Defense Department’s appropriations bill for the 2009 fiscal year. The bill passed the full House of Representatives as part of a larger spending package and went on for Senate approval, thanks in part to support by then-Senator Kit Bond.

For additional information, contact Mercy R&D at 417-865-3157 or keeladavis(at)mercyrnd(dot)com

Acknowledgement Citation:
This research and development project/program/initiative was conducted by Mercy Medical Research Institute and is made possible by a cooperative agreement that was awarded and administered by the U.S. Army Medical Research & Materiel Command (USAMRMC) and the Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) at Fort Detrick, Md., under contract number: W81XWH-10-2-0070.

Non-endorsement Disclaimer:
The views, opinions and/or findings contained in this research/presentation/publication are those of the author(s)/company and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Defense and should not be construed as an official DoD/Army position, policy or decision unless so designated by other documentation. No official endorsement should be made.

Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 32 hospitals, 300 outpatient facilities, 39,000 co-workers and 1,900 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit

Read the full story at

Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2012 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Physician Groups Call for Fewer Medical Tests
2. Weill Cornell Medical College establishes Center for Healthcare Informatics and Policy
3. CAM therapy combined with conventional medical care may improve treatment of lower back pain
4. Image share project gives patients and physicians anytime, anywhere access to medical images
5. Researchers determine vitamin D blood level for reducing major medical risks in older adults
6. Biomedical researchers receive Hartwell Foundation awards
7. Columbia University Medical Center and NY-Presbyterian experts at APA meeting
8. Fitness in Middle Age Lowers Medical Costs Later: Study
9. Ben-Gurion U. and Cincinnati Childrens Hospital to develop pediatric-specific medical technologies
10. Gene Tests May Not Drive Patients to More Medical Care
11. University studies and career expectations of medical students
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... Wimbledon Health Partners, the industry leader ... Athletics Facebook page to educate the public, parents and school athletic departments ... people under the age of 25 die from sudden cardiac arrest every year. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Smiles by Stevens is pleased ... moderate facial wrinkling. While many patients are aware of the benefits of Botox® in ... delivers to those suffering with discomfort, soreness, and pain as a result of Jaw ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Brillianteen, ... friendships, and learning in its 65th Anniversary Brillianteen Revue, scheduled for March 4-6, ... , For 65 years, Brillianteen has been a treasured tradition for numerous families ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Today, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) learned that ... for the first time since 2011. In 2014, there were 9,967 fatalities involving an ... the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,675 people were killed in traffic crashes ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... "When I underwent ... bras were incredibly uncomfortable," said an inventor from Bronx, N.Y. "In order to ... the patent-pending RECOVERY BRA for added comfort and support. The bra is easier ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 3D ... by 2022, according to a new report by Grand View ... Kidney Disease (CKD) which demands kidney transplantation is expected to ... cost effective substitute for organ transplantation. --> 3D ... by 2022, according to a new report by Grand View ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... Juntendo universitetssjukhus ser potential att använda ... magnetresonansbilder (MR-bilder) för patienter med multipel ... ett forskningsavtal med SyntheticMR AB för att ... forskningsprojekt på sjukhuset. Med SyMRI kan man ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in ... Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" ... --> --> This new ... Italian therapeutic drug monitoring market, including emerging tests, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: