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Tests show that adhesive could improve safety of LASIK eye surgery
Date:8/27/2012

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Kansas State University researchers have developed a glue mixture that may reduce risks after laser vision correction surgery.

Stacy Littlechild, a recent bachelor's degree graduate in biology originally from Wakeeney, is the lead author of two studies that describe a new protocol involving fibrinogen, riboflavin and ultraviolet light that could improve the safety of the corrective surgery.

One study that demonstrates the ability of a glue to bind corneal surfaces has been published in the June edition of the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, or IOVS. Another study details the molecular mechanisms of how the glue creates adhesion and also will be published in IOVS.

LASIK, or laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis, surgery uses a laser to reshape the cornea, the eye's outer layer that helps the eye focus. Many patients have the surgery so they do not have to depend on glasses or contact lenses.

During the procedure, a flap is cut in the cornea so that a laser can remove corneal tissue. The hinged flap is returned to its original position and is held on to the laser-modified cornea with nothing but surface tension.

The cornea has a limited ability to firmly re-adhere the LASIK flap and does not fully heal after the procedure, said Gary Conrad, university distinguished professor in the Division of Biology. Conrad, the principal investigator of the research, studies eye development and was Littlechild's adviser.

"Although LASIK produces a flap that remains clear and normally lays smoothly on the modified corneal surface, if the eye is hit with blunt force trauma -- from an auto airbag or a tennis ball, for example -- the flap simply peels open again, resulting in contamination inside the cornea and requiring immediate medical attention, which can include corneal transplantation," he said.

Cornea transplantation replaces part of the cornea with cor
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Contact: Gary Conrad
gwconrad@k-state.edu
785-532-6662
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

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