A postgraduate research student of the School of Physics and Astronomy in the University of Leeds is working on developing adjustable artificial lenses with liquid crystal, which is the same material found in modern TV and smartphone screens.
The researcher, Devesh Mistry, explains, “Using liquid crystals, which we probably know better as the material used in the screens of TVs and smartphones, lenses would adjust and focus automatically, depending on the eye muscles’ movement.” Devesh aims to have a prototype ready by 2018, and thinks it could be made available to the market within six to ten years’ time.
These lenses will come in the form of a new generation of intraocular lens implants that restore focus for diseased lenses in the eye. These would be implanted by breaking down the old lens using ultrasound through an incision in the cornea, and inserting the liquid crystal lens. The process could also be used to restore eyesight to patients suffering from cataracts.