About the Project
The eye is a vital organ for our sense of vision, but there are currently no established in-vitro models for the anterior eye (including the transparent window to the eye [the cornea], and the crystalline lens which allows us to focus at different distances when we are young).
This fully funded PhD project will optimise a mechanical holder to mount porcine eyes (a waste project of meat production), a fluid pump mechanism to circulate biological fluids which can maintain the physiology of these tissues for 7-10 days, and the mechatronics to simulate blinking and the muscle contraction that controls eye focus (see video https://aston.box.com/s/w0ll4tn1psav87bwj2w45oza9edn39d0). The PhD student will work as part of a multidisciplinary team including mechanical and electrical engineers, clinicians and surgeons to investigate the biological effects of contact lens and surgical implantation of intraocular lenses following cataract surgery and how optimal vision can be restored. They will also benefit from networking and training within the EPSRC – SFI centre for Doctoral Training in Engineered Tissues for Discovery, Industry and Medicine (LIFETIME) Additional projects will include accelerating the ageing of the crystalline lens, such as through growth hormones and microwaves, to simulate fibrotic changes with time.
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