This is the second post in a new category of “Vision Scientists and Artists”. It turns out that quite a number of vision scientists are artists and photographers and what they “see” is often a reflection of how they think about vision and the science behind vision. They often seen the world just a little differently and taking the time to explore it is often rewarding.
Friend of Webvision Yves Sauvé, a vision scientist up at the University of Alberta sent these images a little while ago to share with the Webvision community. The two images including the abstract image at top is actually a plant Amorphophallus titanum at the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton, Alberta.
It turns out that Amorphophallus titanum is the largest flower in the world. This one took 10 years to flower and the flower bloomed for 2 days, the 23rd April was the last day. On this day, the botanists at the Muttart cut an opening to harvest the pollen; you can clearly see strings of pollen falling on the female organs, but this plant with not bare fruits as it does not allow self pollination. Continue reading “Vision Scientists and Artists, Yves Sauvé”
Clay Radke, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Vision Science at University of California, Berkeley (lab page here) will be delivering a seminar, Topical Ophthalmic Drug Delivery on September 23rd, 2013 at 4:00pm in the John A. Moran Eye Center auditorium.
Despite considerable inefficiency, topical ophthalmic drug delivery remains the main application modality to the human eye. We present a new description of tear dynamics that quantifies tear salinity and drug bioavailability by topical administration. The tear supply/drainage system is divided into 5 compartments: upper and lower menisci, upper and lower conjunctival sacs, and tear film. Transient description is provided for each compartment for tear, salinity, and drug. Compartments are coupled to each other and to drug pharmacokinetics (PK) through kinetic routes. Salinity must be accounted for in PK models because osmotic flow is drawn from the cornea/conjunctiva into tear thus diluting the drug. Osmotic water flow through the cornea and conjunctiva contribute 20 to 50 % to the total tear supply. Tear salinity is also critical to dry eye. Predicted tear osmolarity, volume, and tear turnover rates all match available clinical measurements. Drug bioavailability is surprisingly independent of supplied drop volume and viscosity. In spite of this, 30 to 90% of drug is lost to drainage through the punctum depending on specific drug transport and reactive properties. Order of addition of mixed drugs is also found important.
We mentioned some of the outreach work that the Moran Eye Center does a few posts ago. There is now a documentary, Duk County (trailer linked in the above video) about the humanitarian expedition to South Sudan to restore vision to those who have lost it through cataracts and trachoma mediated blindness. There is also a link and article from National Geographic Adventure Blog here.
The Moran Eye Center‘s first eye intervention in South Sudan is documented in that film, but our Alan S. Crandall, MD, and Dr. Charles Weber, MD, recently completed a second major ophthalmic medical mission to South Sudan. As part of a life-changing five-year initiative, the team once again traveled to the war-torn region to provide eye surgeries to the visually impaired with a small medical team, carrying in every single supply, from Q-tips to microscopes. Through the efforts of Drs. Crandall and Weber, they helped restore sight to 325 patients with cataracts and trachoma.
After finding cataracts far more advanced than expected on their 2011 mission, the team returned in 2012 with a hand-held ultrasound machine that allows them to see into the back of the eye no matter how opaque the front of the eye is during the initial screening. “The clinic in South Sudan is quite bare, but we are able to bring all the supplies we need in order to successfully operate on patients. Last year, we operated as bats flew around our heads and relied on a generator that didn’t always work. Fortunately, there is a new operating room that better suits the needs of the patients,” said Crandall. Continue reading “Duk County And Moran Eye Center Outreach At Home And Abroad”