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Opto-Biomechanical Eye Research Network

Project description

A closer look at the eye’s optomechanical changes

The eye is a biological tissue with optical and biomedical qualities that are interdependent and characterised by impressive flexibility. These qualities are subject to alterations caused by ageing and pathology. However, the origin of these biomechanical alterations and how these affect the optics of the eye are not sufficiently understood. The EU-funded OBERON project proposes the first European interdisciplinary collaboration between scientists of optics and biomechanics of the eye, aiming to increase our understanding of the interrelationship between ocular optics and biomechanics. The consortium will train young researchers in ocular optomechanics, allowing them to share learning experiences and take advantage of placements at universities, hospitals and industry. The training will provide them with innovative skill sets to convert their research into scientific, industrial or clinical applications with broad potential.

Objective

The eye is a biological tissue with optical and biomedical properties that govern the way the eye refracts light, focuses that
light onto the retina and can dynamically alter that focus over a range of distances. This impressive flexibility results from the
delicate way in which the mechanical properties of the eye very precisely affect its optics. These properties vary
considerably between individuals and can alter over time in response to visual demands, as well as with eye growth, ageing
and pathology. The origins of these biomechanical changes over time are very poorly understood, however, and point at a
need for answers, given the increase in life expectancy and in societal demands for high quality vision. To address these
issues, we present the first European collaboration that brings together a group of scientists that work on the optics and
biomechanics of the eye, cover a broad range of disciplines and skills. This highly interdisciplinary consortium will also
create a training network to give young researchers the opportunity to learn from renowned experts on ocular optomechanics,
share their learning experiences and take advantage of placements in Universities, hospitals and industry. This
will give them a wide and novel skill set to translate their research to scientific, industrial, or clinical applications, such as a
new generation intraocular implants for cataract surgery, biologically relevant eye models that mimic the eye at any age, and
novel treatment therapies that can control, reduce or ultimately prevent refractive error from occurring. These anticipated
innovations will lead to wide-reaching and pioneering advances to enhance our understanding of the interrelationship
between ocular optics and biomechanics. From this, the young researchers will emerge with multi-disciplinary, versatile
skills, be highly employable, able to address skills shortages, be leaders in vision science and pioneer new industries in
optical design and modelling.

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Coordinator

UNIVERSIDADE DO MINHO
Net EU contribution
€ 475 440,48
Address
Largo do paco
4704 553 Braga
Portugal

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Region
Continente Norte Cávado
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (8)