Research project launched for laser that improves eye condition

June 12, 2008
June 13, 2008--The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research launched a new project, which was selected as the winner of the "Innovation Competition for the Advancement of Medical Technology" by the ministry, aimed at implementing an exact dosage of laser radiation for each individual eye during retinal procedures by ensuring that the laser automatically adjusts to the optimal temperature needed for a specific treatment.

June 13, 2008--The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research launched a new project, which was selected as the winner of the "Innovation Competition for the Advancement of Medical Technology" by the ministry, aimed at implementing an exact dosage of laser radiation for each individual eye during retinal procedures by ensuring that the laser automatically adjusts to the optimal temperature needed for a specific treatment.

The new laser ensures that treatments are conducted at the lowest temperature required for the therapy, therefore largely eliminating side-effects and pain. The project, which is slated to run for 3 years, is unprecedented anywhere in the world.

In cooperation with leading scientific institutions, Carl Zeiss Meditec is currently developing the new technology for laser treatment procedures on the retina. "Together with our partners, we are currently working on an optimized, low-pain treatment solution which is designed to support eye specialists in efficiently treating patients suffering from a widespread eye disease. The efficient therapy is capable of further reducing possible side-effects of the treatment for patients. Moreover, the new procedure will presumably require fewer treatment stages, therefore saving additional costs over the midterm," said Ulrich Krauss, president and CEO of Carl Zeiss Meditec. Among the cooperation partners joining the medical technologies company are the Medical Laser Center Lübeck, an internationally recognized research and development institute, the Institute of Biomedical Optics of the University of Lübeck, as well as the Eye Clinic of the University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel, Germany.

The new technology is used to treat widespread eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy. The disease causes hemorrhaging in the eye. The retina becomes detached at the blood leakage points, resulting in visual impairment. Left untreated, it can lead to blindness. With the help of laser light, hemorrhaging blood vessels can be re-sealed. As a result, blood supply to the center of the eye, and thus also central vision, are restored. In many instances, however, the laser light not only sealed the defective blood vessels, but also resulted in temperature increases in the surrounding tissue, causing potential damage. It was also painful for patients. With the new laser, complications of this nature are no longer an issue.

For more information, visit www.meditec.zeiss.com.

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