The IMO Foundation has obtained its first European grant to promote the Human Eye research project, which will develop a prototype mesh for irregular corneas during the next three years. The grant has been awarded by the European Innovation Council (EIC), through the initiative of the Horizon 2020 European Program "Fast Track to Innovation", which promotes research, as well as interdisciplinary cooperation between companies from different sectors and countries in the field of R&D&I.
A universal implant to treat keratoconus
The main beneficiaries of this new mesh are expected to be patients with a corneal deformity called keratoconus, which produces a progressive thinning of the central area of the eye, changing its usual spherical shape to a conical one and causing an irregular astigmatism. It is also expected to be used in patients with other types of ectasia or less common corneal irregularities.
"One of the most widespread surgical treatments to solve keratoconus is the implantation of intrastromal rings", explains Dr José Luis Güell, the Principal Investigator of the Human Eye project, and Coordinator of the Department of Cornea, Cataract and Refractive Surgery of IMO. This is a very effective procedure for a significant number of patients, but in other cases it may not offer the expected results, either because the corneal thickness of the patient does not allow its placement, or because of the way in which the patient himself reacts to the implants. "Through this project, we hope to be able to develop a universal implant that will allow the cornea to return to its normal shape and, therefore, significantly improve the vision of patients suffering from the pathology", continues Dr Güell.
The main beneficiaries of the implant are expected to be patients with keratoconus, a corneal alteration that produces a progressive thinning of the central area of the eye and irregular astigmatism.
A project promoted by the IMO Foundation
This multicentric and international research project is being promoted and coordinated by the IMO Foundation, and counts with the collaboration of other European entities: LEM Consulting (Italy), in charge of the development of the prototype, and Blueacre Technology (Ireland), which will carry out the necessary tests for its implementation. Likewise, the optimization of the implant and the development of clinical trials to validate its usefulness will be carried out at IMO (Barcelona) and at the University Hospital of Toulouse (France) with Prof. François Malecaze and Dr. Pierre Fournier.