UR researchers recently earned a U.S. Patent for cutting edge eye technology. The Rochester Nomogram is a computer-implemented method designed to correct refractive errors in the human eye, which computes and adjusts the way lasers interact with the cornea so that the optimal, clearest vision can be obtained.
Each patient’s eye and cornea shape varies, but the Nomogram can be used to analyze, control and regulate the lasers to precisely correct the cornea shape.
This latest laser technology is the resulting project of a 20-year effort started in the 1990s by scientist David Williams, director of the Center for Visual Science, who recently won the Champalimaud Vision Award for his work in adaptive optics technologies — a $630,000 prize. Williams has been a pioneer in a broad number of topics in eye research and corrective technology and laid the groundwork for the technology that resulted in the patent.
Professor Scott MacRae’s personal vision to improve the quality of sight as a surgeon and researcher at the Refractive Surgery Center at the Flaum Eye Institute at UR fueled the research behind the technology. MacRae worked with Manoj Venkiteshwar, former post-doctoral researcher at UR’s Center for Visual Science, on the technology.
“Eyesight is crucial to everyone’s quality of life,” MacRae said. “As a physician, I am required to do everything in my power to make sure each of my patients has the very best vision possible.”
The LASIK (Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis) procedure is a rapidly developing and advanced eye surgery technique that shapes the cornea using lasers to correct poor vision.
The LASIK procedure is gaining popularity as surgery techniques become more cutting-edge, but the technique has not yet been perfected.
Most patients who undergo LASIK receive positive results, but there are patients whose eyes become or revert to near-sightedness or far-sightedness. This is where MacRae and Venkiteshwar’s technology steps in.
Along with the development of this patent, the UR research team has pioneered a field of visual science known as customized ablation, a much more improved and high-quality LASIK procedure.
The Rochester Nomogram has been licensed to the cataract and refractive laser company Technolas Perfect Vision the product of a joint venture between Bausch and Lomb and 20/10 Perfect Vision AG.
The Nomogram is already in use internationally and UR researchers hope it will continue to advance eye technology around the world.
Yoon is a member of the class of 2016.