Blog Posts

Engineers to develop spectacle lenses for keratoconus patients

University of Liverpool biomedical engineer, Dr Ahmed Abass, has been awarded funding from Fight for Sight and Keratoconus Group UK to develop a new type of spectacle lens that can correct irregular astigmatism for keratoconus patients.

The £15k funding award will support clinical validation of the technology with a view to developing it as a new clinical product.

Keratoconus is a disorder of the eye which results in progressive thinning of the cornea. This may result in blurry vision, double vision, near-sightedness, astigmatism, and light sensitivity. It is estimated to affect between one in 500 to 2,000 people worldwide with most cases of keratoconus become apparent during a person’s teens or early 20’s.

The condition causes distorted vision that cannot be corrected using current spectacle lens manufacturing techniques meaning that patients are entirely dependent on contact lenses or in serious cases, corneal transplants.

Dr Ahmed’s project will address the distorted vision with the development of spectacle lenses that can correct non-orthogonal astigmatism.

Dr Abass said: “We have already developed a proof of concept spectacle lens which can be used by kerataconic patients. This funding will be used to take forward the technology and to trial it in a clinical setting. This is an important next step and we hope the outcome of this project will be to take the technology forward as a clinical product, potentially leading to a major step forward in the current prescription system for patients.”

Chief Executive of Fight for Sight, Sherine Krause said: “We’re delighted to be funding this valuable research project, which could help bring forward the development of a new type of corrective spectacle for those living with keratoconus. We know that people with advanced keratoconus find difficulty in their daily life during the times when they cannot wear their contact lenses, so we look forward to seeing the results from Dr Ahmed’s clinical trial.”

The project also involves Dr Vito Romano, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon and Mr Andrew Tompkin, Head of Optometry who are with St. Paul’s Eye Unit, Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

Dr Ahmed has a track record of developing innovative solutions that can help keratoconus patients including a recent Knowledge Transfer Partnership with UltraVision which led to the development of a new generation of Kerasoft contact lenses for advanced keratoconus cases.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) are a UK-wide Government funded programme which enables Higher Education Institutions to work with businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity.

The University KTP Office offers a full range of services to support academics and companies from the initial enquiries through to the end of the partnership. For more information about KTP and case studies please visit https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/ktp

A New Website – Specialitysight

This is a great new website divided up into four sections:

  • Patients
  • Practitioners
  • Anatomy of the Eye/FAQ
  • Professionals and Industry Associations

The navigation is well laid out and it is easy to find relevant information. Developed by Contamac, the world leader in contact lens and intraocular lens material technology.

Visit the site by clicking this link – Specialitysight

Moorfields Eye to Eye Walk

Each year Moorfields organises this walk from the main hospital in City Road to the London Eye. You can chose the 4 or 14 mile option.

For the last couple of years we have had a small KC team covering the longer route. It is very attractive route and a great opportunity to explore London.

We meet at 10:15 and it takes about 5 hours at a leisurely pace. Do join us, you will be glad you did.

We shall publish a link here when registration opens in the autumn.  Be sure to specify that you wish to benefit Keratoconus.

For more information contact me on 079 2717 8716.

David Gable (Chairman)

 

Registration Opens in the Autumn

2020 KC Team
2019 KC Team
so18 KC Team

Fight for Sight launches survey

Fight for Sight launches survey to gather insights on the personal impact of sight loss

Fight for Sight is launching an online survey to gather broader insights into the personal impact of sight loss and eye conditions. The charity invites those affected by sight loss – either personally or indirectly via someone they care for – to participate in the survey and strengthen the case for urgently needed eye research funding. Continue reading “Fight for Sight launches survey”

New research discovers possible alternative to antibiotics to treat corneal infections

A researcher from the University of Nottingham has discovered a possible alternative to traditional antibiotics for treating corneal infections.

In his project, Fight for Sight funded researcher Dr Darren Ting from the University of Nottingham explored using antimicrobial peptide drugs to treat corneal infections, which can cause severe sight loss and blindness.

The initial findings of this research project were reported to the charity in September 2019 and are very promising, giving hope for these antimicrobial peptide drugs to provide much-needed alternatives to conventional antibiotics and helping to preserve people’s sight in the future.

Read more:

Cornea donation myths dispelled

On World Sight Day (10 October), NHS Blood and Transplant needs to dispel five common myths around cornea donation and encourage people to give the gift of sight.

One in 10 people on the NHS Organ Donor Register have indicated that they do not wish to donate their corneas, making corneas the part of the body that most people say they do not wish to donate. (1)

This has contributed to NHS Blood and Transplant eye banks being 20% below the level needed to supply hospitals across the country. As of 24 September, there were 273 corneas in NHS Blood and Transplant’s eye banks. Our aim is to have 350 corneas in our eye banks at any one time to supply to hospitals.

NHS Blood and Transplant needs to urgently dispel five myths and misconceptions that are potentially preventing people from giving the gift of sight:

Continue reading on the”I Donate” website

Corneal Research in Wales

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has awarded Cardiff University’s School of Optometry and Vision Sciences a grant valued at £2.4 million for a large scale study on the cornea.
The aim of the research is to develop new technologies and techniques to better understand the function of the cornea and other collagen rich tissues. The research will also look to develop novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of connective tissue disorders including developmental abnormalities, disease and abnormal healing processes. The team will also continue to run, on behalf of the ophthalmological community, the UK Cross-linking Consortium to drive towards the best possible treatment for keratoconus.Cardiff University has been been awarded a £2.4m grant from the Medical Research Council to continue with their corneal research programme for a further 5-years.   Read more …

Consultation on the new Moorfields site

Consultation update and invitation to further discussions.

Latest news : 7 August 2019

Moorfields and its partners, the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Charity, are proposing to build a new centre bringing together excellent eye care, with ground-breaking research and education. The preferred location is a site that has become available at St Pancras Hospital, just north of King’s Cross and StPancras stations in central London.

The proposal, called Oriel, is the subject of a public consultation from 24 May to 16 September 2019. For more information, please visit oriel-london.org.uk.

Let us know your views by 16 September 2019.  Continue reading 

Continue reading “Consultation on the new Moorfields site”

Genetic research into KC

Some of you will remember that the KC Group donated 4K to the Moorfields team, headed by Mr Stephen Tuft, researching the genetics of KC to enable them to do some additional analysis of the data. You may also have read the summary of the talk given by Professor Alison Hardcastle at our AGM earlier this year in our latest newsletter. Her talk gave an outline of the results of that analysis. A scientific paper giving detailed results has now been published.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31246245

In sending us the above link, Stephen Tuft wrote “The results of the work have given us some clues as to the genetic causes of keratoconus. In addition, this work will complement a very large study into the genetic basis of keratoconus that we hope to submit for publication in the next few weeks. The Keratoconus Group has helped us recruit for this study, and we are grateful for that.”

He also asked us to thank our members and tell them that their support at an early stage of this work helped move the research forward at an important time.
Quite a few of our members took part in the very large study that Mr Tuft mentions, so we will obviously let you know as soon as we have details of that publication.

by Anne Klepacz » Fri Aug 09, 2019