CET and skills guides

Study and gain CET points through OT’s online CET exams, and access archived CET, CPD articles and skills guides in our education library

Find out more

Science and vision

News and features about the latest scientific developments and advances in optometry, ophthalmology and eye medicine

Find out more


News and features about the latest developments in optics with a focus on industry

Find out more

Professional support

News and features about the latest developments relating to professional support from across optics. This includes updates from optical organisations such as the AOP and the GOC

Find out more

In practice

News and in-depth features about business management and career development in optics

Find out more


Explore the latest UK and global jobs in the optical sector for optometrists, dispensing opticians and more

Find out more

Scientists take lessons from butterflies to construct glaucoma eye implant

Translucent wings have provided inspiration for an eye implant that flexes with increasing eye pressure


Shaped like a tiny drum, a new eye implant inspired by butterfly wings could help to monitor intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients.

The implant is the width of a few strands of hair and flexes with increasing eye pressure.

Its cavity depth can be measured with a handheld reader to give clinicians a direct measurement of how much pressure the implant is under.

Writing in Nature nanotechnology, the authors described how the transparent photonic nanostructure of the implant is inspired by the longtail glasswing butterfly.

The wings of these insects have unique optical properties, with almost no reflection of light from the wing’s surface.

This special structure means that the wings are clearer than if they had been made of glass.

Caltech assistant professor, Hyuck Choo, explained that this insight has helped scientists to reduce the error rate of readings from the implant.

“The nanostructures unlock the potential of this implant, making it practical for glaucoma patients to test their own eye pressure every day,” Professor Choo shared.

The implant was tested in New Zealand white rabbits. Results showed that the device reduced the mean IOP measurement variation when compared with conventional rebound tonometry.