The main cause of glaucoma is clogging of the drainage channels of the eyes, due to which the eye fluid accumulates faster than it flows out. As a result, intraocular pressure rises, which leads to damage to the optic nerve and further - to complete blindness.
Existing implants partially solve the drainage problem, but after 5 years they fail due to the formation of a film of microorganisms in them that block the lacrimal canals.
A group of researchers at Purdue University (USA), led by Professor Hyewon Lee, have developed an implant that solves this problem. Its drainage tube contains tiny magnetic nickel microactuators that vibrate under the influence of a magnetic field. These vibrations shake any biomaterials inside the tube, which ensures that they are flushed out along with the tear fluid.
Scientists are currently looking for partners to launch the serial production of the implant.