Yissum introduces new method to diagnose retinal micro-aneurysms

10 June 2013 (Last Updated June 10th, 2013 18:30)

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Yissum Research Development Company has introduced a novel method for detecting retinal micro-aneurysms that pose a high risk of leakage, a primary cause of diabetic blindness.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Yissum Research Development Company has introduced a novel method for detecting retinal micro-aneurysms that pose a high risk of leakage, a primary cause of diabetic blindness.

The novel method, patented by Yissum, will provide early diagnosis and treatment of the condition by minimising damage and saving vision.

A team of scientists, including Dr Yaakov Nahmias from the Center for Bioengineering at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, developed a computational method to identify microvascular regions with a high risk of leakage based on fluid dynamics, which will help ophthalmologists to identify micro-aneurysms with high risk of leakage using adaptive optics.

The team also found that high risk is correlated with increased level of a protein called Von Willebrand factor (vWF), which is linked with early development of diabetic blindness.

Retinal microaneurysms reduce vision as they lead to fluid leakage from blood vessels and retinal edema.

"The novel method, patented by Yissum, will provide early diagnosis and treatment of the condition by minimising damage and saving vision."

However, localised leakage can be detected and treated using laser ablation in order to slow the progression of diabetic blindness.

Yissum CEO Yaacov Michlin said; "The novel method developed by Nahmias will allow experts to rapidly identify and treat those microaneurysms that pose a high-risk of leakage, minimising edema and saving vision.

"Moreover, the scientists open the route for targeted therapy or clinical detection using vWF, which they show serves as a protein marker for risky regions in the retina.

"By enabling early detection of high-risk areas, treatment of diabetic retinopathy can shift from a reactive treatment to a preventive one, not only preventing blindness but also saving millions of dollars in medical costs," added Michlin.

Established in 1964, Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem protects and commercialises the Hebrew University's intellectual property.