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Researcher Receives Second Patent for Device to Provide Relief from Glaucoma

Khalid Lafdi, University of Dayton Wright Brothers Endowed Chair in Nanomaterials, was named on a second patent for a medical drainage device mainly for glaucoma patients that also could be used for drainage in the ears, brain or chest or to provide access to larger veins or arteries.

Glaucoma affects more than 3 million Americans, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation. It occurs when the eye stops naturally draining fluid and the resulting increased intraocular pressure damages the optic nerves in the eye.

The device Lafdi created with UD graduate Edward Timm, CEO of Mobius Therapeutics LLC, prevents the growth of fibroblasts that encapsulate and block drainage devices. Previous versions of the device made of silicon increase fibroblasts.

"Silicone itself actually stimulates the growth of fibroblasts and results in the dysfunction of silicone glaucoma drainage devices," said Timm.  

Lafdi and Timm designed the drain tube using Lafdi's "fuzzy fiber," a scaffold of carbon — also highly biocompatible — covered with surface-treated carbon nanotubes grown in a highly controlled manner, giving the material its fuzzy appearance, according to Lafdi.

"The first patent protected drainage devices constructed entirely with Lafdi's carbon-based material. This second patent protects existing devices coated with the material," Timm said. "Therefore, we can configure more flexible, optimal devices for the eye and then coat them in the material that prohibits fibroblasts."

Mobius is negotiating non-exclusive rights to the coating with multiple parties at this time, according to Timm.

Click here to read about the breakthrough that led to the first "fuzzy fiber" patent.

For interviews, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson1@udayton.edu.

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