Commercialization of Research Results PolyU Turns Novel Myopia Control Contact Lens to Product
HONG KONG, January 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) entered into a licensing arrangement with Vision Science and Technology Co. Ltd. (VST), a local start-up supported by HKSTP-PolyU Tech Incubation Fund (TIF) and PolyU Tech Launchpad Fund (TLF), for commercializing PolyU's Defocus Incorporated Soft Contact (DISC) lens for myopia control in children. The arrangement exemplifies successful commercialization and transfer of PolyU technology facilitated by entrepreneurship efforts.
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Myopia (or short-sightedness) is a major cause of ocular morbidity for school children, especially among ethnic Chinese. The optometry research team led by Professor To Chi-ho, Head of the School of Optometry at PolyU, and Professor Carly Lam from the same School, developed the novel DISC lens for this purpose.
The award-winning DISC lens brought new hope to the myopic population. The lens is a multi-zone soft contact lens which provides clear vision and at the same time projects blurred, out-of-focus (defocused) images onto the retina to slow down excessive eye growth in myopia.
When a child has myopia, the light that enters the eye focuses in front of the retina rather than on it. The new method involves producing a clear image on the retina and another defocused or blurred image in front of the retina. In doing so, the DISC lens makes use of the natural homeostatic mechanism known as 'emmetropization', whereby the eye tends toward a size that allows it to receive focused images as it would do with normal vision, i.e. eye growth is regulated by optical inputs from the environment. The lens improves the wearer's vision and provides constant myopic defocus ("STOP" signal to myopia) at all viewing distances.
Spanning two years with a sample of 128 subjects, the clinical control trial showed that DISC lens retarded the progression of myopia by approximately 60% in Hong Kong school children aged 8 to 13. More importantly, the children found the lens comfortable to wear. The new lens also provided clarity that was comparable to conventional single vision lens, which deliver the same optical focal point over their entire area. This technology was patented in Australia, the Chinese mainland, the US and various European countries.