Clear vision – project for safer laser treatment of floaters started
05/26/2020

The LZH is working on making the laser treatment of vitreous opacities, so-called floaters, safer. (Graphic: LZH)

Vitreous opacities, so-called mouches volantes or floaters, disturb many people in their vision. Up to now, the treatment of this age-related change in the eye is often not recommended. In a new research project, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) wants to lay the foundation for a safer laser-based treatment method.

Conventional therapies for vitreous opacities in the eye are very risky and can make the situation of those affected even worse. An already existing treatment method, which is not always without complications either, is the laser vitreolysis. The ophthalmologist locates the floaters manually and then vaporizes them with a pulsed laser.

Less energy, better positioning
The LZH Biophotonics Group now wants to further optimize this approach in the XFloater project. On the one hand, they intend to use femtosecond (fs) lasers. The shorter pulse length of the laser radiation would enable them to further reduce the amount of energy introduced into the eye. In this way, they want to avoid complications such as cataract or glaucoma formation and also enable the use in the rear part of the eye, closer to the retina.

On the other hand, the scientists want to use Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to target the laser to the floater without errors. To do this, they also have to compensate the natural aberration of the cornea and lens. They want to use adaptive optics that enable a smaller focal point and higher precision.

Opening up laser use in the rear part of the eye
Until now, there are still many open questions regarding retinal safety when using fs lasers in the rear part of the eye. The Biophotonics Group at the LZH therefore also wants to derive safety parameters in order to expand the field of laser applications in the rear eye segment.

About XFloater
The XFloater project is supported by an advisory board consisting of nine companies, the Hannover Medical School (MHH) and the Augenklinik am Neumarkt as well as the association SPECTARIS. Among others, two LZH spin-off companies are involved, Rowiak GmbH and neoLase GmbH. The IGF project 21011 N / 1 of the Forschungsvereinigung Feinmechanik, Optik und Medizintechnik e. V. (F.O.M.), Werderscher Markt 15, 10117 Berlin, Germany, is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy on the basis of a decision of the German Bundestag within the framework of the program for Industrial Collective Research (IGF) carried out by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen „Otto von Guericke“ e.V. (AiF).

There is one figure for this press release.

Press release for download: 
Figures for download: 

 

Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH)

As an independent, non-profit research institute, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) stands for innovative research, development and consulting. The LZH is supported by the Niedersachsen Ministry of Economic Affairs, Employment, Transport and Digitalisation and is dedicated to the selfless promotion of applied research in the field of photonics and laser technology. Founded in 1986, over 170 employees are now working for the LZH.

The focus of the LZH lies on the fields of optical components and systems, optical production technologies, and biomedical photonics. Interdisciplinary cooperation between natural scientists and mechanical engineers makes innovative approaches to challenges from the most different areas possible: from the development of components for specific laser systems to process developments for the most diverse laser applications, for example for medical technology or lightweight construction in the automotive sector. Eighteen spin off companies have emerged from the LZH up to now. Thus, the LZH has created a strong transfer between fundamental science, application oriented research, and industry.