Research and Innovation
A £1.37 Million MRC Award To Develop A Pre-Medicated Synthetic Human Corneal Equivalent To Treat Corneal Blindness
- (March 2020)

Corneal disease is a major cause of blindness world wide and transplantation with a human donor cornea remains the main clinical line of therapy. However, the demand for corneal donation outpaces the supply, leading to delayed visual rehabilitation for several hundreds of patients worldwide who are awaiting corneal transplantation. Furthermore, conventional corneal transplants has a high risk of failure in patients with severe ocular surface disease and vascularised cornea often necessitating repeated transplant procedures without much visual success. A recent UK graft registry assessment showed up to 50% of patients requiring a full thickness corneal transplant (PK) had such high risk characteristics with poor prognosis with conventional corneal transplantation. A synthetic cornea could offer the necessary solution for these patients and remains an unmet need in this field. In response to our project grant application in March 2020, the Medical Research Council (MRC) awarded a £1.37m for this project as a career development grant to Dr Hirak K Patra, University of Cambridge and University college London in collaboration with Prof Madhavan Rajan at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge to develop a Assisted Regeneration Artificial Cornea (ARCs) which will mimic biological properties of the human cornea and have additional function as a mediated device with theranostic potential. Overseas collaboration with University of Montreal, Canada and Harvard, United States, would bring international expertise to our project. This combined diagnosis and therapeutic approach will enable disease monitoring and treatment to severe corneal scarring disorders for the first time and promises to address the unmet need in the field for artificial cornea.

Femtosecond lasers for advanced corneal and cataract surgery at Addenbrookes Cambridge Eye Unit

Laser technology enables surgeons to operate with greater precision when compared to conventional surgery. Addenbrooke’s Hospital is the first NHS unit in the UK to install the state-of-the-art ‘Femtosecond’ laser system. This infrared laser, with its ultra-precision, brings the potential to revolutionise eye surgery in the East of England, improving care and ensuring more patients can benefit.

The femtosecond laser project was led by Mr Madhavan Rajan, Consultant Ophthalmologist in 2016 and he performed the first femto procedure in Cambridgeshire, and since have completed several hundred procedures. Femtolasers help improve safety and accuracy when treating visually compromised patients with cataract and corneal disorders, thanks to Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust and the Cambridge Eye Trust for their generosity to bring this innovative technology to patients in Cambridge and the East of England region'.

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Cambridge Vision Clinic based in Cambridge, UK features an excellent team of eye care professionals offering a personalised, safe approach to patients with cataract and eye disorders for over 10 years.


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