• By Anni Griswold
    Cataract/Anterior Segment, Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Retina/Vitreous

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    A home OCT system that uses artificial intelligence just received the FDA’s breakthrough device designation. The fully automated device uses a machine-learning algorithm to detect intraretinal and subretinal fluid in patients with exudative AMD. If retinal fluid is detected within the central 10 degrees, the algorithm sends an alert to the treating physician. Notal Vision aims to bring the product to market in 2020. Notal Vision

    You’ve heard that screen time can disrupt sleep, but do you know why? No? Scientists weren’t entirely sure either until a team at the Salk Institute (pictured above) discovered how melanopsin-producing retinal cells process ambient light and reset the circadian rhythm. Exposing these cells to artificial light late into the night, researchers explain in Cell Reports, confuses the body’s internal clock and contributes to a host of health issues. EurekAlert!

    Companies often move their manufacturing processes overseas, but makers of a new retinal implant say they’ve scouted a far better location: outer space. LambdaVision’s retinal implant is a 60-microns think film, coated with a light-activated protein called bacteriorhodopsin that could replace native photoreceptor cells. Manufacturing the delicate film in zero-gravity conditions could prevent surface tension, sedimentation and other issues that plague the process on Earth. The implant’s building blocks are currently en route to the International Space Station, where scientists plan to produce more homogeneous, stable implants than they could here—while saving time and money. UConn Today

    A single-dose gene therapy can express the drug aflibercept in primate retinal and choroidal tissues for up to 16 months, researchers reported in Molecular Therapy. The novel treatment—fast-tracked by the FDA earlier this year—is now undergoing a phase 1 trial in humans. Adverum Biotechnologies, Molecular Therapy

    A new topical treatment reverses cataracts and maintains lens clarity in pig tissues, Plex Pharmaceuticals announced this week. The treatment, CAP1160, targets the alpha A-crystallin protein in the crystalline lens. No signs of corneal tissue damage, toxicity or irritation were seen in white rabbits given repeated daily doses of the drug.