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MACULAR DEGENERATION Development of new device for the restoration of sight under way


restore sight to patients with one of the most common causes of blindness in the developed world is under development in an

international partnership. Researchers from the University of

Strathclyde and Stanford University in California are creating a prosthetic retina for patients of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which affects one in 500 patients aged between 55 and 64 years, and one in eight over 85 years of age. The device would be simpler in design and

operation than existing models. It acts by electrically stimulating neurons in the retina, which are left relatively unscathed by the effects of AMD while other 'image capturing' cells, known as photoreceptors, are lost. It would use video goggles to deliver energy

and images directly to the eye and be operated remotely via pulsed near infrared light ® unlike most prosthetic retinas, which are powered through coils that require complex surgery to be implanted. The prosthetic retina is a thin silicon device

that converts pulsed near infrared light to electrical current that stimulates the retina and elicits visual perception. It requires no wires and would make surgical implantation easier. The device has been shown to produce


encouraging responses in initial lab tests and is reported in an article published in Nature Photonics. The technology is now being developed further. Dr Keith Mathieson, now a Reader in the

Institute of Photonics at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, was one of the lead researchers and first author of the paper. He said: 'AMD is a huge medical challenge and, with an ageing population, is continuing to grow. This means that innovative, practical solutions are essential if sight is to be restored to people around the world with the condition.

'The prosthetic retina we are developing has been partly inspired by cochlear implants for the ear but with a camera instead of a microphone and, where many cochlear implants have a few channels, we are designing the retina to deal with millions of light sensitive nerve cells and sensory outputs. 'The implant is thin and wireless and so is

easier to implant. Since it receives information on the visual scene through an infra-red beam projected through the eye, the device can take advantage of natural eye movements that play a crucial role in visual processing.'


The May 2012 Journal of Drugs in Dermatology includes a report on case studies evaluating the effectiveness of the Lumixyl Topical Brightening System in the treatment of melasma. Entitled 'Treatment of Mild to

Moderate Facial Melasma With The Lumixyl Topical Brightening System,' authors Basil M. Hantash, MD, PhD, and Felipe Jimenez, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Envy Medical, Inc., examined four cases of mild-to-moderate melasma in three female and one male subjects, aged 30–47 years. Each volunteer was treated with the Lumixyl Topical Brightening

10 ❚

System, which comprises an antioxidant cleanser, a brightening creme containing 0.01% decapeptide-12, a 20% glycolic acid lotion, and an SPF30 sunscreen. After 12–24 weeks of use,

investigators noted that the treatment protocol was well tolerated in all participants, with only minor skin dryness observed during the first 4 weeks. Each had marked improvement in their respective melasma condition, and one had almost complete clearance after using the Lumixyl system for just 6 weeks. The authors concluded that the

June 2012 |

components of the Lumixyl System act synergistically to safely and effectively clear hyperpigmentation. 'The Lumixyl Topical

Brightening System is an effective method for generating naturally brighter, more vibrant skin,' explains Dr Hantash, a board certified and Stanford-trained dermatologist and Vice-Chairman of the Board at Envy Medical, who also lead the Stanford University research team that developed the Lumixyl peptide technology. 'This is yet another publication that illustrates the System’s ability to clear melasma without the

complications or irritations associated with hydroquinone- based products.' This case report follows the April 2012 publication of a 15-patient open-label study in the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, which also examined the efficacy of the Lumixyl Topical Brightening System. That study revealed that the System was highly effective in treating hyperpigmentation without the side-effects associated with prescription hydroquinone. The article also notes that the Lumixyl regimen is safe for use by all skin types without concern.

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