A $1.85m grant was awarded by the US National Institute of Health to a dry eye disease (DED) study that focused on tear films to inform new treatments.
Lead researcher Yuqiang Bai, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, and optometry professor Jason Nichols invented a new interferometer that will non-invasively assess the tear film and its physical properties, which has been hypothesised as a key underlying factor behind DED.
Bai said that the study aimed to identify underlying causes of DED, signs and symptoms that can be used for early diagnosis and monitoring of treatment response.
He said: ‘The objective is to comprehensively study the physical properties of tear film, such as its thickness dynamics, viscosity and osmolarity and their relationship to dry eye disease. This work will take full advantage of my knowledge and background in physics and optics, along with my expertise in biomedical imaging.’