Opendata, web and dolomites


Teaser, summary, work performed and final results

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EDEN (European Dry Eye Network)


The primary objectives of EDEN are:1. to advance in the understanding of DED and provide diagnostic and therapeutic innovations for this most frequent of all ophthalmic diseases2. to train 10 early-stage researchers (ESRs) in state-of-the-art concepts and research techniques...


The primary objectives of EDEN are:
1. to advance in the understanding of DED and provide diagnostic and therapeutic innovations for this most frequent of all ophthalmic diseases
2. to train 10 early-stage researchers (ESRs) in state-of-the-art concepts and research techniques essential to the study of the human eye, while providing them with strong career-management skills and sound professional connections
3. to boost the impact, the presence, and the international visibility of European research, structuring research and training capacities in vision science around long-term synergistic collaboration among four academic institutions and four internationally reputed companies engaging in complementary fields of vision science.

Work performed

WP 1 entitled “Objective non-invasive diagnostic tools” aims to create new metrics and technology to objectively and precisely assess and analyse the lacrimal functional unit. This will lead to newer metrics to better differentiate between normal and DED patients and diagnosis the different aetiologies affecting the latter.
To date, we are investigating new techniques to assess the ocular surface health and diagnose Dry Eye Disease at its early stage and analyse the propensity to develop DED in the future and anticipate its evolution. The partners of the consortium are sharing their experience and their know-how to develop a new technique to assess tear dynamics. Furthermore, we are working on the possibility of using new technology, which uses infrared (IR) light in order to get a deeper knowledge about meibomian gland dysfunction.

WP 2 entitled “Risk factors” addresses the factors that raise the risk of developing DED or intensify its signs and symptoms. The partners of the consortium are working in close collaboration to acquire knowledge about the effects of environmental stress and lifestyle on the ocular surface, cornea, and tear film and educate the public on prevention, emphasising the risk factors that raise the propensity to develop DED. We are carrying out clinical studies to investigate the changes in tear film metrics and ocular signs induced by different types of refractive correction (contact lenses, refractive surgery…). Furthermore, a large-scale study is being conducted to quantify dry eye disease prevalence across Europe and analysing the current risk factors for DED.

WP 3 entitled “Therapeutic solutions” aims to acquire an in-depth understanding of the advantages and drawbacks of the solutions currently available for DED treatment and develop new therapeutic solutions aiming to mimic natural tear film. We are developing new artificial tear formulations including liposomes, bioadhesive polymers, in-situ gelling polymers or their combinations; as well as other components such as antioxidants, osmoprotectants, and immunomodulators. Furthermore, we are developing an in-vitro animal model for dry eye to evaluate novel pharmaceutical approaches to DED management.

Final results

The progress of the ongoing activities indicate that the impacts of the project outlined in DoA will be achieved. The impact of the scientific advances such as contribution to understanding the processes involved in DED development, improving therapeutic solutions, or respective diagnostic tools, and contribution to the development treatments specific to its various aetiologies will be meaningful at more advanced stage of the project, where the research actions will reach more advanced stage.
The impact on the researcher\'s career is already visible as the ESRs advance with their training. The students work on individual basis, start to make their own decisions about project\'s progress and plan their work. All students have prepared their Career Development Plans and this action itself was an occasion for them to reflect and plan the future of their professional career. ESRs were given defined tasks in the network and are working in a team to fulfil their obligations on time, for example they are regularly updating the website news or reporting on their research and training progress to the Coordinator.
The students are being trained in complementary sills via Summer Schools covering transversal courses which will add to their professional development. The modules which the students attended include: scientific communication, project management in R&D, entrepreneurship, future job hunting techniques, team work skills, resolving conflicts or verbal and non-verbal communication courses. Additional module on ethics in research was included in the training programme to allow the students to understand the importance of this concept.

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