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Scientists create self-cleaning drainage device to help patients with glaucoma

Innovative technology uses vibrations to shake off microorganisms that accumulate on the device

Drainage tube

Researchers from Purdue University in the US have created a drainage device for glaucoma patients that is able to clear itself of microorganisms.

Writing in Microsystems and Nanoengineeringthe authors highlighted that implantable glaucoma drainage devices often become obstructed due to biofouling.

To get around this problem, scientists have created a device that uses vibrations to shake loose biomaterials that have built up in the tiny tube that removes excess aqueous humor from the anterior chamber.

Hyowon Lee, from Purdue University, explained that the vibrations are prompted by the activation of a magnetic field.

“We can introduce the magnetic field from outside the body at any time to essentially give the device a refresh,” he added.

“Our on-demand technology allows for a more reliable, safe and effective implant for treating glaucoma,” Dr Lee added.