Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Electromechanical Cornea Reshaping for Refractive Vision Therapy.


The corneal stroma consists of orthogonally stacked collagen-fibril lamellae that determine the shape of the cornea and provide most of the refractive power of the eye. We have applied electromechanical reshaping (EMR), an electrochemical platform for remodeling cartilage and other semirigid tissues, to change the curvature of the cornea as a potential procedure for nonsurgical vision correction. EMR relies on short electrochemical pulses to electrolyze water, with subsequent diffusion of protons into the extracellular matrix of collagenous tissues; protonation of immobilized anions within this matrix disrupts the ionic-bonding network, leaving the tissue transiently responsive to mechanical remodeling. Re-equilibration to physiological pH restores the ionic matrix, resulting in persistent shape change of the tissue. Using ex vivo rabbit eyes, we demonstrate here the controlled change of corneal curvature over a wide range of refractive powers with no loss of optical transparency. Optical coherence tomography (OCT), combined with second-harmonic generation (SHG) and confocal microscopy, establish that EMR enables extremely fine control of corneal contouring while maintaining the underlying macromolecular collagen structure and stromal cellular viability, positioning electrochemical vision therapy as a potentially simple and ultralow-cost modality for correcting routine refractive errors.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View