New intraocular lenses offering a full range of vision

Aston University has worked with the world’s leading manufacturer of intraocular lenses (IOLs), Rayner Intraocular Lenses, to deliver the next generation of lenses that provide patients with a full range of high-quality vision without the need for glasses..

Image credit: Aston University.

The Worthing-based company, which also develops and manufactures ophthalmic medical devices such as delivery systems and eye drops, used the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to access the expertise and facilities of tip of the University.

A KTP is considered to be a three-way collaboration between an academic partner, a company, and a highly qualified graduate, known as the KTP associate. The UK-wide program helps businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity through better use of knowledge, technology and skills. Aston University is known to be the main provider of KTP in the Midlands.

The project went much further from its initial scope and was rated as Outstanding by Innovate UK, the highest honor possible. The main results of the KTP are the development of a lens stretching device that can mechanically mimic the focusing mechanism of the human eye and the development of an artificial capsule module. This is needed to test and use the new lens. The fabrication of the artificial module eliminated the need to use human or porcine alternatives, which would require surgical preparation.

The lens stretching system required specialized knowledge to build algorithms to trigger and control the motion characteristics of its motor, such as acceleration, speed, and duration. In addition, the special device also required the design and manufacture of custom parts via 3D printing – both automation and design capability developed new knowledge for the company at the start of this project.

The KTP program is a great opportunity to join forces to explore the difficult elements of science-driven developments. We couldn’t be happier with the whole experience of this KTP project and are proud of what we have achieved so far..

Otavio Gomes, Research Program Manager, Rayner Intraocular Lenses

Academics from the College of Health and Life Sciences at Aston University provided this KTP. The team includes Professor James Wolffsohn, a global expert in ophthalmic research, and Professor Leon Davies, an optometrist and British scholar whose research in physiological optics has led to a better understanding of ocular accommodation (or ocular focusing) in young people and the aging eye.

This KTP program has taken a long-standing relationship between Rayner and Aston University and elevated it to a new and exciting level of innovative collaboration. Associate KTP prospered through development opportunities and was employed by the University to continue the collaboration.

James Wolffsohn, Professor and Director, School of Optometry, Aston University

The KTP resulted in the submission of two academic publications and the development of a special intraocular lens test bed. In addition, the outcome of the project will feed into Aston’s curriculum, allowing future graduates to understand the cutting edge of future ophthalmic innovation.

Dr Huidong Wei, Senior Mechanical Engineer and KTP Associate, has been shortlisted for the Future Leader Award under the Best of the Best Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) Awards. The judges noted that Dr Huidong had demonstrated excellent leadership skills beyond the extremely high expectations already in place for KTP associates.


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