A Device for the Functional Improvement of Lagophthalmos


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Abstract

A new device was tested on rabbits for the improvement of lagophthalmos, which causes dryness and irritation of the eye and may cause blindness if untreated. In the presented study, 14 rabbits were injected with local anesthetic to induce temporary facial palsy leading to lagophthalmos on one side. To provide functionality to the upper eyelids, ferromagnetic steel plates were either implanted within the eyelid or taped on the eyelid surface. The device detected blinking in the nonparalytic side and moved the anesthetized paralytic eyelid by pulling the steel plate electromagnetically. The control group (n = 5) did not wear the device, and they could not shut their paralytic eyelids. The treatment group with the external placement of the metal plate (n = 4) and the treatment group with the implant (n = 5) wore the device for artificial blinking. All animals were observed during the experiments, and blinking was recorded on digital video. The data collected from video records were analyzed to test the statistical difference of blinking between control and the treated groups. The results showed that the treatment groups could artificially move their paralytic eyelids. Furthermore, the treatment group with the implant showed a noticeable similarity in eyelid position compared with healthy (nonparalytic) eyes.

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