US scientists are developing a non-surgical approach to permanently correcting myopic vision.
Writing in Nature Photonics, researchers describe using a femtosecond oscillator to selectively alter the biochemical and biomechanical properties of the cornea.
The technology incorporates an ultrafast laser that delivers pulses of very low energy at a high repetition rate.
They highlight that the technique has fewer side effects and limitations than those that apply to refractive surgery.
Researchers are currently building a clinical prototype and plan to start clinical trials by the end of the year.
The scientists are also helping to develop a way to predict corneal behaviour as a result of the procedure, which would make it possible to personalise the treatment and make patient-specific changes to improve vision.