TIPS, TRENDS & NEWS YOU CAN USE
BELGIUM’S GHENT UNIVERSITY JOINS AR CL RACE
Augmented Reality CL Prototype Created
■ Ghent University’s The Centre of Microsystems Technology associated laboratory announced it has created a spherical curved LCD display, which can be affixed to contact lenses, says a University press release.
“Normally, flexible displays using liquid crystal cells are not designed to be formed into a new shape, especially not a spherical one,” the main researcher Jelle De Smet explained in the press release. “Thus, the main challenge was to create a very thin, spherically curved substrate with active layers that could withstand the extreme molding processes. Moreover, since we had to use very thin polymer films, their influence on the smoothness of the display had to be studied in detail. By using new kinds of conductive polymers and integrating them into a smooth spherical cell, we were able to fabricate a new LCD-based contact lens display.”
The prototype contains a patterned dollar sign, depicting the several cartoons that show people or figures with dollars in their eyes.
The prototype displays rudimentary patterns likened to that shown on an electronic pocket calculator, the press release says. That said, the researchers say they see the technology developing into autonomous electronic contact lenses used to control light transmission into the retina for those who have a damaged iris, among other medical applications, or as a heads-up display.
The University of Washington, in Seattle, with Semprius, Inc. and Innovega, Inc. are also working on augmented reality contact lenses.
Bottom line for O.D.s: For more information on augmented reality eyewear — its applications, health concerns and its impact on optometry — visit OM online at www.optometricmanagement.com/articleviewer.aspx?articleID=107043.
PRIVATE EQUITY FIRM TAPS GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC. TO INVESTIGATE SALE
Warburg Pincus LLC Looking for Bausch + Lomb Buyer
■ Warburg Pincus, LLC, owner of Bausch + Lomb, has apparently hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to investigate selling the eyecare company, says a Bloomberg article.
“Bausch + Lomb is regularly contacted by companies with strategic interest in our company, and we continue to aspire to a return to the public markets in the future,” B+L spokesperson Adam Grossberg told the news outlet. “However, our focus remains on building the best global eye-health company, and therefore won’t comment further.”
Goldman Sachs contacted GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Sanofi, and has plans of getting in touch with Abbott Laboratories, which now owns Advanced Medical Optics — a company that attempted to purchase B+L in July 2007 for a $4.3 billion bid, the article says. Warburg Pincus bought the company for $3.7 billion in September 2007. According to Bloomberg, Warburg Pincus seeks at least $10 billion for B+L.
All the companies mentioned above declined to comment to Bloomberg.
■ The LENSAR Laser System, from LENSAR Inc., has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for cataract incisions, including anterior capsulotomy (with or without phacofragmentation), lens fragmentation and corneal incisions.
“Say What!?” STUDY
One’s ability to sit and get up from the ground is a strong predictor of death risk in both middle-aged and elderly people, says December 13’s European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Specifically, more than 2,000 men and women age 51 to 80 were told to sit and then rise from the ground using only minimal support, such as a knee or hand. The researchers then ranked the subject’s ability to get up via a score of zero to 10, with 10 equating to no support, and followed the subjects for roughly six years. A total of 8% of the subjects died, most of them having low test scores. Those who scored less than eight were twice as likely to die, while those who scored a zero were five to six times more likely to pass away. The sitting-rising test reveals a person’s level of musculoskeletal fitness, the study’s authors say.
● Retinal arteriolar narrowing, quantitatively measured from retinal photographs, appears linked with the long-term risk of open-angle glaucoma, says January’s Ophthalmology. Thus, computer-based measurements of retinal vessel caliber may be useful in identifying people at increased risk of developing the clinical stage of glaucoma, the researchers say.
● Antibodies to salivary gland protein 1, carbonic anhydrase 6 and parotid secretory protein appear as useful markers for identifying Sjögren’s syndrome patients who have the early stage of the disease or who lack antibodies to either Ro or La, says December’s Clinical Immunology. As a result, the University of Buffalo, which participated in the research, has filed a patent on the biomarker-based method and has licensed the technology to IMMCO Diagnostics, Inc., which has created a new diagnostic tool. The tool is expected to be available to physicians early in 2013, says a University of Buffalo press release.
● Regular aspirin use (at least twice a week for more than three months) 10 years prior was linked with a small, though statistically significant growth in the risk of incident late and neovascular AMD, says December 19’s Journal of the American Medical Association.
● Morning replacement vs. night replacement of continuous wear (CW) lenses appears to decrease overall adverse events, possibly because fresh lenses may become contaminated by lens handling prior to overnight eye closure, says December’s Optometry and Vision Science. Advise CW wearers to minimize lens handling prior to sleep to decrease complications risk, the researchers say.
● The DNA methylation pattern and expression of the interleukin-17 receptor C gene may potentially serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis of AMD and likely plays a role in the condition’s pathogenesis, says November’s Cell Reports.
Seaing is Believing
Are our eyes Irises comprised of coral? This extreme closeup of the human eye, captured by photographer Suren Manvelyan as part of his “Your Beautiful Eyes” series, certainly makes it seem that way. To see the entire series, visit www.surenmanvelyan.com, or www.facebook.com/SurenManvelyan.