Keywords: ocular eye injury battlefield wound dressing bandage medical health
Summary:Diopter has developed a nano-crystalline material made from bacterial cellulose. The natural cellulose material is derived from the bacterial species, Gluconacetobacter xylinus. The bacterial cellulose material has many useful properties in medical applications and the company is developing ophthalmic medical devices based on the cellulose material. Ophthalmic applications range from new prosthetic devices, to contact lenses and ocular bandages. Based on animal testing in eye disease models the cellulose material possesses significant wound healing capabilities versus current standard ocular bandage material. Eye injuries, both work-related and recreation-related, are responsible for over 2.4 million emergency room visits annually. In the battlefield environment, ocular injury is also highly prevalent, and is associated with significant pain, visual disability, decreased personnel availability, and excessive cost. Most battlefield injuries to the ocular surface are caused by particulate matter, such as sand or dirt that is generated by explosions, vehicles, or ordinance. Such injuries are very common and often cause severe pain and impaired vision that may last several days. Although the majority of injuries that affect only the ocular surface will eventually heal without causing permanent loss of vision, there is a significant risk of secondary infection and corneal scarring. The new ocular material acts like a bandage, protecting the cornea while reducing pain and permitting vision. The dual use of the technology addresses the significant needs of civilian eye emergencies and for a battlefield “ocular bandage” that is readily available in a convenient product format that meets the common therapeutic goals of ocular wound healing.