Enzymatic digestion of the lens as an alternative to cataract surgery
Paul, Laura Lea
Armeniades, C. D.
Master of Science
The purpose of this research was to determine the effects of enzymatic digestion on the human lens, with the ultimate goal of rendering cataract surgery obsolete. A system for measuring the consistency of a lens, using an aspiration technique, was developed and was used to quantify the changes that occur in a lens after injection with one of four enzymes: pronase E, sphingomyelinase, phospholipase C, and carboxypeptidase B. Pronase was found to be the most effective enzyme with 20% more of the treated lens aspirating when compared to the untreated lens. The amount of pronase injected and the incubation time were varied and the response of the lens was measured. Pronase and sphingomyelinase were also used in conjunction with phacoemulsification to determine if one treatment would increase the effectiveness of the other. No synergism was found between the enzyme treatments and phacoemulsification. Other enzymes and techniques are suggested for further study.
Health sciences; Medicine; Surgery; Biomedical engineering