Treatment for Blindness-Causing Retinal Detachment Using Alginate

It’s taboo to consume seaweed soup before exams in Korea since it can lead to failing the exam. The belief is rooted in the idea that the slippery nature of seaweed may cause people to slip and falter during the test. The slick surface of seaweeds such as seaweed and kelp is attributed to alginate, a mucilaginous substance. Notably, an intriguing study exploring the use of alginate for the treatment of retinal detachment has been recently published. A collaborative effort between Professor Hyung Joon Cha from the Department of Chemical Engineering and the School of Convergence Science and Technology and Dr. Geunho Choi from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), and Professor Woo Jin Jeong, Professor Woo Chan Park, and Professor Seoung Hyun An from the Dong-A University Hospital's Department of Ophthalmology has resulted in the creation of an artificial vitreous body for treating retinal detachment. This solution is based on a natural carbohydrate derived from algae. The research findings were recently published January 10, 2024 in Biomaterials, an international journal of biomaterials published by Elsevier. The open-access article is titled “Injectable Alginate-Based in Situ Self-Healable Transparent Hydrogel As a Vitreous Substitute With a Tamponading Function.”

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