Polymeric Materials for Eye Surface and Intraocular Applications.
Ocular applications of polymeric materials have been widely investigated for medical diagnostics, treatment, and vision improvement. The human eye is a vital organ that connects us to the outside world so when the eye is injured, infected, or impaired, it needs immediate medical treatment to maintain clear vision and quality of life. Moreover, several essential parts of the eye lose their functions upon aging, causing diminished vision. Modern polymer science and polymeric materials offer various alternatives, such as corneal and scleral implants, artificial ocular lenses, and vitreous substitutes, to replace the damaged parts of the eye. In addition to the use of polymers for medical treatment, polymeric contact lenses can provide not only vision correction, but they can also be used as wearable electronics. In this Review, we highlight the evolution of polymeric materials for specific ocular applications such as intraocular lenses and current state-of-the-art polymeric systems with unique properties for contact lens, corneal, scleral, and vitreous body applications. We organize this Review paper by following the path of light as it travels through the eye. Starting from the outside of the eye (contact lenses), we move onto the eye's surface (cornea and sclera) and conclude with intraocular applications (intraocular lens and vitreous body) of mostly synthetic polymers and several biopolymers. Initially, we briefly describe the anatomy and physiology of the eye as a reminder of the eye parts and their functions. The rest of the Review provides an overview of recent advancements in next-generation contact lenses and contact lens sensors, corneal and scleral implants, solid and injectable intraocular lenses, and artificial vitreous body. Current limitations for future improvements are also briefly discussed.
Karayilan, M; Clamen, L; Becker, ML
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