This subproject is one of many research subprojects utilizing the resources provided by a Center grant funded by NIH/NCRR. Primary support for the subproject and the subproject's principal investigator may have been provided by other sources, including other NIH sources. The Total Cost listed for the subproject likely represents the estimated amount of Center infrastructure utilized by the subproject, not direct funding provided by the NCRR grant to the subproject or subproject staff. Femtosecond lasers can be delivered through transparent and translucent tissue to perform high precision surgical procedures without damage to the superficial or adjacent tissues. These unique properties of the femtosecond laser-tissue interactions provides considerable potential advantage over traditional laser treatments used for glaucoma. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness with over 2 million people affected in the US alone. The condition is characterized by increased pressure in the eye which causes gradual, permanent cell death in the fundus resulting in blindness. Treatment of glaucoma focuses on lowering the eye pressure by reducing the production of fluid in the eye that maintains the pressure (aqueous) or increasing the drainage of this fluid out of the eye. At present, the traditional treatment would include use of eye drops, laser, or surgery however, use of these treatments may be cumbersome and poses a lot of complications such as scar formation especially after surgery. We hypothesize that the application of the femtosecond laser may be used to treat glaucoma. Among several potential advantages over the traditional glaucoma treatments the most important is its ability to create drainage channels for aqueous outflow without collateral damage to the overlying or adjacent tissue. This will likely increase the longevity of the drainage channel that can maintain eye pressure within normal range. To test our hypothesis, we propose the evaluation of femtosecond laser technology for the creation of drainage channels in an in vivo animal model. An in-vitro model of the aqueous outflow was already created by the same group in another laboratory (University of Michigan) as an initial step to understand the effect of femtosecond laser created drainage channels on the aqueous outflow in cadaver eyes. The best shape and depth of the channel was obtained from this cadaver eye experiment. After the in-vitro study, it is necessary to establish the efficacy of the femtosecond laser technology for the creation of drainage channels in a live animal model. Additionally, the efficacy of the drainage channels for decreassing intraoccular pressure can also evaluated in vivo.
Aims : 1. Demonstrate the efficacy of femtosecond laser glaucoma treatment and optimize the procedure using in vivo animal models and standard measurement techniques of the aqueous outflow 2. Investigate longevity and patency of femtosecond laser-created outflow channels by performing wound-healing studies using in vivo animal models Following general anesthesia at another location, each rabbit will be transported to BLI for OCT imaging of its eyes and then returned to the investigator's lab for recovery. All animal studies will be performed under and in accordance with the UCI IACUC approved animal protocol #2005-2567, and that a copy of that protocol, the IACUC approval and any approved modifications of the protocol will be provided to BLI. Tibor Juhasz, PhD (Ph: 949-824-8769) will be designated as the responsible party for oversight of the animal procedures at BLI.
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