Method devised for diagnosis of ocular diseases

GAIKER-IK4 Technological Centre's Area of Biotechnology, together with the Opthtalmological Surgery Clinical Institute of Bilbao (ICQO) are co-operating in a research project the aim of which is to develop a diagnostic system, based on immunochromatographic techniques, for the specific recognition of proteic markers for ocular pathologies in eye teardrop samples.

This system, carried out with a swab (similar to pregnancy testing), will initially detect specific markers for ocular pathologies such as conjunctivochalasis and keratoconus and will enable, with a sample of teardrop liquid, the diagnosis of the patient with these disorders.

The ease of use of the system and both its speed and simplicity (a positive testing sign in the form of a coloured band) enables the system to be employed on a daily basis in the clinic. The markers on which the design of this diagnostic system is based are being analysed throughout the research project and validated by means of their recognition by specific antibodies in samples from the tears of patients affected by these pathologies.

In the future, towards the end of 2008, those responsible for the project hope to develop a multiple system, capable of detecting the presence of other ocular pathologies, besides the two already established in the initial phase, and with the aim of launching the diagnostic tests on the market.

Pathologies studied

Keratoconus or conic cornea condition is a disorder of the human eye which rarely causes blindness but can considerably interfere with vision. This pathology distorts the usual rounded shape of the cornea and forms acone-shaped prominence. It occurs in one in every two thousand persons and generally it coincides with puberty. Keratoconus does not follow any known geographical cultural or social pattern.

Conjunctivochalasis is the relaxation of the bulbar conjunctive capable of creating conjunctive folds over the lower palp

Contact: Irati Kortabitarte
Elhuyar Fundazioa

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