Research student, Yr Ysgol Optometreg a Gwyddorau'r Golwg
- 2012-present: PhD Structural Biophysics, Cardiff University
- 2009-2012 Refractive Optometrist, Optical Express 2009-2012
- 2007-2009 Optometrist, Vision Express
- 2006 Member of the College of Optometrists (MCOptom)
- 2003-2006: BSc (Hons) Optometry, Cardiff University
- Registered with the General Optical Council (Reg. no: 01-23313)
- Member of the College of Optometrists (MCOptom)
Speaking of Science Presentation "Analysing the biomechanical strength of corneal flaps against shear force; a novel methodology."
Cardiff Institution of Tissue Engineering and Repair, CITER
I supervised 3rd year students in public clinics at the School, before starting as a PhD student.
While studying for my PhD, I have supervised 2nd year students in refraction clinics, and occasionally 3rd year students in the public contact lens clinic.
The flap created out of the outermost layers of the corneal surface during refractive LASIK surgery creates some serious risks of complications, namely the weakness of the flap adhesion to the stromal bed as a result of the nature of the wounding and aspects of wound healing specific to the cornea. In this wound, the epithelium is only damaged at the wound margin and so stromal healing takes place only at this point, leaving the flap sealed by merely a thin rim of corneal wound healing and so susceptible to dehiscence by external force (from anything from rubbing the eyes to a road traffic accident), which could, in a small number of cases, result in permanent visual impairment. As studies have shown that stem cells from embryological or adult sources can be coaxed to differentiate into specific tissue types given the right environmental factors, my research hopes to address the problem of this insufficient wound healing by creating a "biologic tissue glue" from neural crest derived progenitor cells, that will, not only encourage wound healing to occur in the flap/stromal bed interface, but also maintain corneal clarity byway of scar-less wound healing. This will be used in an organ culture of porcine corneas inflicted with LASIK-like wounds and the biomechanical strength of the flaps will be tested against shear force using an adapted extensometer. It is hoped that this research model could be transferred to other types of traumatic corneal wounds, to see if a biomechanically strong cornea with scarless wound healing could be achieved. This would hopefully pave the way in the future to having beneficial emergency treatment applications.
- Part School of Optometry and Vision Sciences
- Part EPSRC
Prof Phil Stephens (Wound Biology Group, Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering and Repair, Tissue Engineering and Reparative Dentistry, School of Dentistry.
Increasing the biomechanical strength of LASIK-treated cornea
My research is lookinginto methods by which we can, not only increase the biomechanical strength ofcorneal wounds, mainly those inflicted during LASIK refractive surgery, butalso improve the clarity of the wounded cornea by aiming to achieve scar-lesswound healing through the application of stem cells.