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Students Around the Globe Use OcuBall’s Polymer-Based Eye Model to Gain ‘Real Feel’ Practice of Foreign Body Removal

  • Saturday, April 9, 2022, 10:58 am
  • ACROFAN=Newswire
Optometry educators and students in five countries are now using a novel eye model to replace traditional animal-based methods for foreign body removal. OcuBlink, Inc., has shipped its polymer-based eye model, OcuBall, to nearly a dozen colleges and universities in Australia, Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom and United States.

A close-up of OcuballOcuBall feels like a human eye and simulates a realistic response to embedded foreign bodies, similar to those found in clinical environments. It replaces animal-based methods in optometry training environments while eliminating safety concerns related to handling, disposal and storage of biological tissue.

"There is an immediate 'wow' factor when students begin using OcuBalls in our didactic labs," said Navjit K. Sanghera, OD, FAAO, ocular disease curriculum coordinator and associate professor of optometry at the Illinois College of Optometry, who has been using OcuBalls for three years. “Second year students find the realistic feel helpful in gaining confidence and experience removing foreign bodies. The eyeballs have become a wonderful addition to our curriculum."

- A person looking through a microscope

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceOcuBall comes premade with steel particles inserted on the surface of the eye to provide a realistic, safe and inexpensive clinical scenario for the practice of foreign body removal. Over time, the metal pieces can rust and form a typical rust ring, just as they do in the human eye. Use in educational settings helps optometry students practice and gain confidence in the removal of materials from the eye.

Made of a biocompatible polymer-based material, OcuBall eliminates concerns of cross-contamination and biological waste. OcuBall can be stored in saline for several weeks without spoilage and has no odor.

OcuBlink began as an initiative of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) and now operates as an affiliate, utilizing CORE’s staffing, counsel and laboratories. In the fall of 2018, OcuBlink was accepted into Velocity, Canada’s most productive startup incubator. Last year, OcuBlink, Inc., announced its development of a life-like in-vitro eye model that reduces dependence on animal testing to understand the science of the eye.

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