Corneal melting is caused by uncontrollable production of enzymes that are dependent on the presence of zinc ions. This process can be launched by a wide array of factors: from industrial injuries to internal health problems. Most importantly — until now, this disease invariably led to blindness.
The lenses created by these scientists include a polymer called 2-hydroxyetyl methacrylate and dipicolylamine, which binds with zinc ions, preventing corneal damage. Because the compound does not spread beyond the eye, this type of treatment does not have any side effects.
The development is currently being tested, and its creators have already filed for a patent. The hydrogel lenses are expected to hit the stores in a couple of years.