Exciting collaboration looks to the future of corneal health

July 27, 2017
Sam Findlay

ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), headquartered at UOW’s Innovation Campus is joining forces with the Lions NSW Eye Bank and Sydney University’s Corneal Bioengineering Group to implement an exciting new collaborative corneal bioengineering program.

These organisations will work together to revolutionise the treatment of corneal ulceration by developing a novel device, the ‘iFix Pen’, which will deliver a special bioink formulation that has the capacity to facilitate healing and prevent infection in treating the disease.


“We have joined forces with Professor Sutton and his team to bring together the skills needed to tackle this challenging area,” said Director of ACES, Professor Gordon Wallace.


“We are confident of having real impact in a short period of time”.


Corneal Ulceration is a significant cause of severe eye pain, visual morbidity and visual loss. It accounts for 55,000 hospital admissions in Australia each year. It can be complicated by infection and in extreme cases melting of the eyeball. Current treatments involve antibiotics and the use of a contact lens.


“I am looking forward to working with Professor Gordon Wallace and his internationally recognised team at the ARC Centre of Excellence at the University of Wollongong. Our collaboration and research into corneal bioengineering has the capacity to make a significant impact on corneal blindness in Australia and around the world,” said Professor Gerard Sutton.


Professor Sutton was in attendance at Thursday’s launch event in Wollongong, where his father, Professor Gerard Sutton senior, was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wollongong for 17 years.

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