In this article, the authors discuss their research into alkylphosphocholine coated IOLs, which may offer some hope in the prevention of PCO in the future.
The improvements in terms of surgical technique, IOL design and material has led to significant innovations in the past years resulting in a short operation time and a low incidence of severe complications.
PCO: A common problem
Considering that almost 40% of patients develop PCO within 10 years after cataract surgery, the absolute number of capsulotomies is high making it one of the most expensive procedures in ophthalmology. Although large efforts have been undertaken to overcome this problem, there is still no method in clinical use for PCO prophylaxis.
The ideal method for PCO prevention would neither add further surgical steps nor would it be cost-intensive. One of the most important steps to reduce PCO was, therefore, the optimization of the IOL in terms of material and design following extensive laboratory and clinical studies. Derived from these results, most IOLs today are made of a hydrophilic or hydrophobic material with a 360° sharp edge.
Other approaches to reduce PCO included the evaluation of pharmacologically active agents. Although a large number have been investigated, none are applied clinically due to the fact that they were either not effective or displayed limited ocular biocompatibility.