1. New Eurostars project to develop novel multi-model OCT device for improving cataract surgery outcome

    New Eurostars project to develop novel multi-model OCT device for improving cataract surgery outcome





    Figure caption: "A Digital OCT-Aberrometry (DOCTA) device will be developed in the project that can enable wavefront aberrometry together with the conventional OCT imaging of the human eye.  Flexible & robust design will allow the sample arm to be mounted on a surgical microscope and to be used during the surgery." 


    Eurostars has granted public R&D funding to a joint international collaboration between Wavesense Engineering, Medical University of Vienna and OCTLIGHT. The consortium will develop a novel ophthalmic multimodal optical coherence tomography (OCT) device that can provide complete optical and anatomical information of patient’s eye to improve the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases.


    The project is one of the top R&D projects selected for funding by Eurostars-3 program. Eurostars is a program sponsored by EUREKA member countries and the European Commission to support breakthrough innovation. 


    One of the main focus areas of the device developed under the funded project is to significantly improve the outcome of cataract surgery. Cataract, which causes clouding of lens, is the number one cause of blindness in the world with about 94 million people suffering worldwide. A significant portion of the patients undergoing lens replacement surgery are dissatisfied and have to rely on glasses or undergo further vision correction surgery due the limitation of the current state of the art biometric devices and surgical procedure.


    As a main result in the project, a multimodal ophthalmic OCT device will be developed, based on a novel and patented digital OCT-aberrometry (DOCTA) technique developed by Wavesense Engineering, that will for the first time provide:


    • 3-in-1 functionalities, i.e., 1) Anterior segment imaging, 2) Posterior segment imaging and 3) Wavefront aberrometry.
    • Unique sample arm design to achieve high ergonomics and flexibility, such that it can be used in two different configurations: 1) as a surgical microscope mounted intra-operative device and 2) as a tabletop diagnostic device.


    This novel DOCTA device can enable surgeons to formulate a personalized treatment plan (e.g. design, power and axis orientation of IOL) for each patient as complete optical and anatomical properties of individual’s eye is known, which can significantly improve the refractive outcome after surgery and help patients achieve 20/20 vision outcomes. Also, the DOCTA device can be used intraoperatively to guide the surgery by measuring at different stages and adapting accordingly to achieve the precise targeted surgical outcome.


    DOCTA device can be used to guide other ocular surgeries as well to improve the precision, such as keratoplasty, epi-retinal membrane peeling, retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage etc. Also, as a tabletop diagnostic device, it can help in precise treatment planning of wavefront guided LASIK surgery for vision correction, and improved diagnosis of several eye diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy (DR) etc.


    CEO of Wavesense Engineering Abhishek Kumar adds: “Wavesense is pleased and honoured to receive the funding by EUREKA Eurostars that can help us develop and demonstrate the full capability of our envisioned product that can potentially enhance the precision of ophthalmic disease diagnosis and surgical outcome, especially cataract, and hence contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of the patients.”


    Dr. Frieder Loesel, ophthalmic industry veteran and Managing Director of 20/10 Perfect Vision GmbH, who is advising Wavesense Engineering, describes the significance of the developed product as “Wavesense’s proprietary technology has the potential to help ophthalmologists further improve outcomes across a wide range of procedures, with the ultimate goal of happy patients, and I am delighted to support this effort.”


    The Medical University of Vienna (MUW), the birthplace of OCT research in Europe, will support Wavesense Engineering with the R&D of the DOCTA device so that the final device meets the targeted specifications. OCTLIGHT will develop a dual bandwidth phase stable MHz swept source laser (SSL) based on vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) technology that will enable DOCTA device to operate reliably with high precision. As Prof Rainer Leitgeb, associate professor at MUW, states “MUW is excited to support such important medical technology development with our expertise as well as our multidisciplinary environment which we believe crucial for fast translation to the benefit of patients,”


    CEO of OCTLIGHT Thor Ansbæk describes the significance of the funding as: “Based on the overwhelming request from customers we are currently preparing to scale up operations to meet future demand. We see the commercial breakthrough of VCSEL as imminent in the Ophthalmic industry, with industrial and autonomous currently picking up speed. 


    This project will not only be an important demonstration of our key enabling technology but will also allow us to further adapt our VCSEL swept source laser to make a cost efficient solution for applications that require phase stabilization. The patented Highly Efficient Resonator Oscillator (HERO) underpins the unique advantages allowing MHz A-scan speeds, single channel acquisition and phase stable operation.”


    About OCTLIGHT

    OCTLIGHT is the first in the world to develop and start production of the world´s fastest VCSEL Swept Source for OCT scanners for eye diagnostics. OCTLIGHT supplies the laser module to MedTech companies and other companies globally who want to create innovation with OCTLIGHT´s technology platform in eye diagnostics or in other applications where a lightning-fast micrometer precision scans are needed at distances from a few mm up to 100 meters. 


    Thor Ersted Ansbæk


    Diplomvej 381, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

    Email: thor@octlight.com


    About Wavesense Engineering

    Wavesense Engineering, a startup based in Vienna, Austria, is developing a clinical ophthalmic OCT device that can provide not only the anatomical imaging but also the optical information of the patient's eye by combining OCT with a novel digital aberrometry technology–a first of its kind in the world.  It can help improve the surgical planning and outcome of the cataract, refractive and other ophthalmic surgical procedure.


    Abhishek Kumar, PhD

    Founder and CEO,

    Wavesense Engineering GmbH

    Billrothstraße 75/2/10, Vienna 1190, Austria

    Email: abhishek.kumar@wavesenseengineering.com


    About Medical University of Vienna

    The Medical University of Vienna is one of the most traditional medical educational establishments with 8,000 students and approximately 6,000 members of staff and is already one of the most important top-level research establishments in Europe in the biomedical sector. The Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical engineering at MUW is a leading research institution in Europe in the field of biomedical imaging. In particular it was among the first to advance the technology on digital wavefront sensing and aberration correction. With the gained expertise MUW contributes to the optical system design, the hardware and software setup, as well as to the testing, benchmarking, and validation of the system. The multidisciplinary environment provides a perfect basis for a future translation of successful project outcomes.


    About Eurostars

    Eurostars is a funding instrument that supports innovative SMEs and project partners (large companies, universities, research organisations and other types of organisations) by funding international collaborative R&D and innovation projects. It is an ideal first step in international cooperation, enabling small businesses to combine and share expertise and benefit from working beyond national borders. This project has received funding from the Eurostars-2 joint programme with co-funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The R&D co-funding to project partners Wavesense Engineering and Medical University of Vienna are provided by Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW) in Austria. The R&D co-funding to project partner OCTLIGHT is provided by Innovationsfonden in Denmark.


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