Endowed Research Chair and Professor of Ophthalmology and Biomedical Engineering
University of California, Irvine
Non Linear Optical Corneal Collagen Crosslinking (NLO CXL) for Treatment of Refractive Errors
Corneal collagen crosslinking (CXL) using ultraviolet light (UVA) photoactivation of riboflavin leads to corneal mechanical stiffening that shows significant therapeutic benefits for patients with Keratoconus, and also corneal flattening, which could be helpful for the correction of minor refractive errors. However, there are several drawbacks to UVA CXL including, 1) difficulty controlling area and depth of corneal CXL, and 2) removal of the corneal epithelium to imbibe riboflavin into the stroma. The former limits the ability of UVA CXL to customize corneal stiffening to treat refractive errors, while the later leads to post-operative pain, delayed visual recovery time, and increased risk of infection. In this talk I will present our work on developing a non linear optical (NLO) approach to corneal CXL that addresses these major limitations. First, we have developed a delivery device that focus amplified femtosecond laser pulses at any depth or position within the corneal stroma to precisely activate riboflavin using two photon excitation. Secondly, we have used laser induced optical breakdown to machine the corneal epithelium and form microchannels that are 2-3 micron in diameter and 25 micron in length to significantly enhance to penetration of riboflavin through the corneal epithelium. We have also performed live rabbit eye studies showing that these advances protect the corneal epithelium from damage, and can produce 1-2 diopters of central corneal flattening.
Dr. Jester is currently the Jack H. Skirball Endowed Research Chair and Professor of Ophthalmology and Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Jester’s trained as an Experimental Ocular Pathologist whose research has focused on the cellular and molecular biology of the cornea and ocular surface. Dr. Jester has extensive experience using multi-dimensional imaging modalities to evaluate corneal structure and function. His current research includes the application of non-linear optical microscopy to image second harmonic generated signals from collagen to study the collagen structural organization of the cornea.
For more information or to schedule a meeting with the speaker, please contact Xandra Dvornikova.
Sponsored by the Berns Family LAser and Microbeam Program and the Department of Ophthalmology