Glaucoma, one of the leading cause of blindness across the globe can be minimized with the new smart drainage device developed by scientists. Surgical implants and medications are the only ways to treat glaucoma, but both of them have a different degree of success to improve sight and to relieve pressure inside the eye. The smart drainage devices introduced by the scientists have gained popularity in the last few years. However, around 50% of the devices are still functioning after five years, because of biofouling – a problem that accumulates microorganisms on the device during and after implantation.
As per assistant professor, Hyowon Lee of Purdue University in the US, who is also led the research team stated that the smart drainage device is capable of fighting biofouling by using advances in microtechnology. Lee also added by saying that glaucoma drainage device is built with microactuators that vibrate when introduced to a magnetic field. As the vibrations, helps in losing the biomaterials that have built up in the tube.
Further, the researcher added that the magnetic field could be introduced outside the body at any time to refresh the device. The on-demand technology embedded in the device creates a safe, reliable, and efficient implant for treating glaucoma. In addition, the device can vary flow resistance depending upon the degree of pressure accumulated inside the eye, as the drainage technology can customize treatment according to the stage of glaucoma the person may have.