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Projects and Clinical Applications

Current Projects:

The Dynamic Vision Project
Supported by the Vision Cooperative Research Centre
The goal of this project is to develop surgical instrumentation and optical models for cataract surgery designed to restore accommodation in the presbyopic eye (phaco-ersatz surgery). The project includes the development and testing of polymer implants to replace intraocular lenses, optical and biomechanical studies of the accommodation mechanism, and the development of a surgical procedure for phaco-ersatz. This project is a collaboration between the Ophthalmic Biophysics Center and the Vision Cooperative Research Centre located in Sydney, Australia.

Optomechanical characteristics of lens accommodation
Supported by an NIH RO1 grant from the National Eye Institutes (Jean-Marie Parel, PI)
The goal of this project is to better understand the biometric, optical and mechanical properties of the crystalline lens and their changes with age and accommodation. A complex optomechanical system which simulates crystalline lens accommodation by applying radial stretching forces was developed. The system measures the stretching, and the changes in lens shape and power. The system is used on primate lenses to better understand the changes with age that lead to presbyopia. This project is a collaboration between the Ophthalmic Biophysics Center, the Vision Cooperative Research Centre located in Sydney, Australia and Dr. Adrian Glasser's laboratory at the University of Houston.

Optics of intraocular lenses and laser vision correction
The goal of this project is to develop improved optical models of the eye and biometric tools to optimize the outcome of intraocular lens implantation and vision correction procedures. A particular emphasis is the development of improved methods to calculate intraocular lens (IOL) power in patients who had prior laser vision correction surgery. The predictability of the visual outcome after IOL implantation in these patients is reduced. It is more difficult to predict the power of the IOL in these patients because their corneal shape has been altered by the laser surgery. In collaboration with clinicians at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, we are developing new optical models and improved methods to predict the correct IOL power.

Past Projects:

Dynamics of collagen tissue shrinkage
Supported by a Whitaker Foundation Biomedical Engineering Research Grant
The purpose of this project is to study the time and temperature response of laser-induced thermal shrinkage of the cornea and sclera of the eye and of skin. The study will help optimize treatment algorithms for clinical procedures such as laser thermokeratoplasty (corneal shrinkage for correction of hyperopia) in ophthalmology and laser skin resurfacing in dermatology.

Stereotactically-guided laser interstitial thermotherapy of breast cancer
Supported by a Kemper Foundation Grant and industry
The goal of this project is to develop surgical instrumentation and to evaluate lasers and fiber-optic probes for minimally-invasive treatment of localized breast cancer tumors by laser hyperthermia. This project includes experimental studies of laser heating effects on breast tissue models and studies to demonstrate the feasibility of real-time imaging of the treatment using high-resolution digital mammography.

Otic Probe for neurocochlear intraoperative monitoring
Supported by an NIH SBIR Phase II grant
This project aims to develop an otic probe combining a fiber-optic laser Doppler system, an endoscope, and electrocochleography electrodes for monitoring cochlear blood flow and compound action potentials during brain and ear surgeries. Other applications include monitoring of inner ear therapy using local application of drugs.

Affiliated Laboratories and Industry

Ophthalmic Biophysics Center
McKnight Vision Research Center
Department of Ophthalmology
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
University of Miami School of Medicine
Contact: Jean-Marie Parel, Ph.D
Tel: 305-326-6369

Ophthalmic Biophysics Center
Vision Cooperative Research Centre
University of New South Wales
Sydney, Australia
Contact: Arthur Ho, Ph.D.

Joint Bioengineering and Endourology Developmental Surgical Laboratory
University of Miami School of Medicine
Department of Urology
Contact: Raymond Leveillee, M.D.; Nelson Salas, Ph.D.


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