Imprimir Republish


A temporary glue to treat eye injuries

A hydrogel designed by researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) and the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) could help in the initial treatment of injuries where the eyeball has been cut or perforated (Science Translational Medicine, December 6). Intraocular pressure often drops in the first few hours after such an injury, increasing the risk of blindness—the pressure can fall from about 15 millimeters of mercury, a unit that measures eye pressure, to near zero. During the research, the scientists created a temperature-sensitive polymer that remains in a liquid state at low temperatures, but solidifies upon contact with the surface temperature of the eye (about 30 degrees Celsius), acting like a glue. “The aim is to close the wound and reestablish ocular pressure as soon as possible after the accident,” explains ophthalmologist Paulo Falabella, from UNIFESP. “Then, when the patient is ready to undergo surgery, the doctor puts a cold substance on the glue, which returns it to an easily removable liquid state. The affected area can then be sutured.” The method presented promising results in experiments on rabbits with ocular lesions, and will likely be tested on humans within two years.