New methods and device for the management of keratoconus
Vision Engineering Italy has invented and patented the method and theranostic device that will personalize the corneal cross-linking treatment of keratoconus.
Keratoconus is a degenerative corneal disease; it is the primary cause of corneal transplantation in affects young people worldwide.
Keratoconus has been treated by riboflavin/UV-A corneal cross-linking for more than ten years. Corneal cross-linking consists of instilling drops of riboflavin (vitamin B2) on the cornea, after corneal de-epithelialization, for about 30 minutes and then illuminating the tissue with an Ultraviolet lamp (UV-A) for 30 minutes. The purpose of the treatment is to stiffen the corneal tissue, which is weakened by the disease, through a chemical photo-polymerization process. Although the treatment is effective in more than half of cases, there are severe complications that may threaten corneal tissue.
Vision Engineering Italy is committed to developing new corneal cross-linking procedures that may be more safe and effective than standard treatment. In the last years, corneal cross-linking can be performed without removing the corneal epithelium, thus eliminating almost all the complications caused by standard treatment. The clinical outcomes of the first transepithelial procedures (so-called because the epithelium is not removed), however, were controversial, as many protocols showed not to be effective. The founders of Vision Engineering Italy participated in the development and validation of transepithelial corneal cross-linking with iontophoresis, the only transepithelial protocol which has been shown to be effective in controlled studies.
Vision Engineering Italy has developed an innovative UV-A device that assists the eye surgeon in real-time to perform corneal cross-linking with the aim of improving vision. The device is undergoing industrialization.
The project is co-financed with European regional development funds
- Lombardo G, Villari V, Micali NL, Leone N, Labate C, De Santo MP, Lombardo M. Non- invasive optical method for real-time assessment of intracorneal riboflavin concentration and efficacy of corneal cross-linking. J Biophotonics. 2018 Jul;11(7):e201800028.
- Lombardo M, Lombardo G.Noninvasive real-time assessment of riboflavin consumption in standard and accelerated corneal crosslinking. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2018 Oct 22. pii: S0886-3350(18)30792-2.
Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2020 Apr;258(4):829-834. doi: 10.1007/s00417-019-04595-6. Epub 2020 Jan 3.Comparison between standard and transepithelial corneal crosslinking using a theranostic UV-A device.
- Winner of the 8th China Innovation And Entrepreneurship
- Third Award at the China-Italy Best Startup showcase
- Winner of the National Roadshow of BioinItaly – StartUp Initiative – Healthcare & Biomedical 2018
- Finalist at the Leonardo Start up 2017 Award
- Finalist of the first edition of the Open Innovative PMI Award
- Finalist at Unicredit BootCamp Startup-On-Stage 2017
- Winner of the Corporate Fast Track Award of the 2016 Gaetano Marzotto Prize
- Winner of the IngDan Far East Development Special Prize of the 2016 Gaetano Marzotto Prize