Biomedical science student Stein Allen has joined the SSI team, working on an exciting thesis project which could improve visual outcomes for millions of people, now and in the future.
Stein’s research will assess the optimal design of intraocular lenses, the tiny focusing device which is inserted during cataract surgery after the natural lens is removed.
According to Stein “As we all live longer, chances are that most of us will need our cataracts removed at some stage. My work aims to ensure that the replacement lens is as good as it possibly can be.”
Stein’s thesis will focus on assessing developments in the design of the Intraocular Lens (IOL), identifying promising new technologies which will improve patient outcomes post cataract surgery.
Working closely with senior clinicians and academics, including Professors John Grigg, Peter McCluskey, Stephanie Watson, John McAvoy and Chris Peterson, Stein aims to narrow down various opportunities and developments in the IOL design field. Stein’s qualifications in biomedical science brings an engineering and product design aspect.
According to Prof Grigg “When you consider the many millions of people who require cataract surgery, and the impact of improved outcomes on their quality of life, it’s not hard to see that this work could have far-reaching and important implications for the ophthalmology community”.
Stein believes that there is much potential for IOL technology with accommodating lenses (allowing the patient to focus near and far without requiring additional spectacles) and his work will also look at reducing the chance of rotation in toric lenses to improve surgical outcomes.”
Toric lenses correct astigmatism in patients, but if it rotates more than 30 degrees, it can potentially increase astigmatism.
Stein wants people to know that the future of IOL technology is bright. “Accommodating lenses are a very exciting development for patients” he said “and in a related field, the work of researchers such as Professor John McAvoy, who is working on lens regeneration at Save Sight Institute, is very exciting.
Stein plans to have results, including potential design improvements, later this year.