Monthly Archives: September 2019

New in the lab: Miguel Eckstein

Miguel Eckstein

We welcome Dr. Miguel Eckstein (Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences & Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara) to VioBio Lab. He is now spending his sabbatical with us funded by a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. 

He received a BSc in Physics & Psychology at UC Berkeley and PhD in Cognitive Psychology at UCLA. He worked at the Department of Medical Physics and Imaging, Cedars Sinai Medical Center and NASA Ames Research Center before joining UC Santa Barbara. Dr. Eckstein uses computational modeling, functional magnetic imaging (fMRI), electro-encephalography (EEG), eye tracking and psychophysics to understand the brain processes mediating perception, attention and learning. He uses the basic knowledge he acquires about visual processing to work with engineers on applied problems including medical imaging, computer vision and human/computer interaction. He is exploring collaborative projects with VioBio Lab on children recovering from congenital blindness as well as assessment of corrective optical solutions with task-based performance metrics.

New in the lab: Lupe Villegas


Lupe Villegas, BSc in Physics from Escuela Politécnica Nacional de Ecuador, has recently joined VioBio Lab with a FPI Predoctoral Grant awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Science. She will undertake her thesis research work on myopia and new optical technologies.

Lupe holds a MSc in Biomedical Engineering from Paris Descartes University and a MSc in Biophysics from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. She has worked in preclinical studies in Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Optical Imaging at Ecole Nationale Superieure de Chimie de Paris and she did her master thesis in Madrid in Macromolecules Structure Department at CNB (National Biotechnology Center, CSIC). 

New in the lab: David Bronte


David Bronte, BSc in Physics from the University of Zaragoza, completed the last year of his Degree in UNSW Sydney. He is joining VioBio Lab in the framework of the new JAE Intro ICUs (CSIC’s Institutes Introduction to Research grants). David has previous experience in research groups: summer internship in the photonics lab of UTS (Sydney) and working on a research project in the Biophysics group in UNSW (Sydney).

Currently he has enrolled the Master in Condensed Matter Physics and Biological Systems in Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and he is particularly interested in research frontier trends in Physics, Biology and related fields. 

New in the lab: Alicia López


Alicia López, BA in Optics and Optometry in Universidad Complutense of Madrid (UCM), is joining VioBio Lab in the framework of the JAE Intro Programme (CSIC Introduction to research fellowships for undergratuate and master students). Alicia is currently studying a Master in Optical Technologies at the UCM and she will undertake studies related with 3D vision and Pulfrich effect in order to complete her final masters project.

“La Caixa” Foundation Award Ceremony: CaixaImpulse Award granted to VioBio Lab project

CaixaImpulse Awards

The VioBio Lab project “Accommodating Intraocular Lens enabled by Photobonding” received yesterday a CaixaImpulse 2019 Award in a ceremony that took place in Barcelona. 79 research projects from different Spanish and Portuguese institutions, selected over 1,500 candidates, were awarded by “La Caixa” Foundation and will receive funding over the next three years.

The award acknowledge the innovative approach to a well-known medical need and the high market potential of the accommodating intraocular lens developed by researchers of the VioBio Lab (Instituto de Optica, CSIC), led by Prof. Susana Marcos. This new lens changes its shape to focus on far and near objects and is, therefore, capable of mimicking the crystalline lens to correct presbyopia.

The CaixaImpulse Program seeks to support highly innovative projects to achieve investment readiness and move closer to commercialisation stages, so that the results of the research are translated into useful technologies for citizens.

Design and ex situ performance of a shape-changing accommodating intraocular lens published in Optica


Presbyopia, the age-related loss of the crystalline lens’s ability to dynamically focus, occurs primarily because of stiffening of lens material. The definitive solution for the correction of presbyopia involves replacing the crystalline lens by a lens capable of mimicking its function.

Researchers from the Institute of Optics (CSIC), led by Prof. Susana Marcos, have developed a  novel accommodating intraocular lens (AIOL) that changes its shape to focus on far and near objects. The lens consists of two elements, one refractive for the correction of far vision linked to a deformable element, with haptics that capture the forces of the ciliary muscle. The lens design has been computationally tested, using finite element model simulations, and the manufactured prototype has been evaluated experimentally mounted on a stretcher that emulates the forces of the ciliary muscle. The geometrical changes in the lens have been characterized using custom quantitative 3D Optical Coherence Tomography, and the power changes using laser ray tracing.

According to Andres de la Hoz, first author of the study published in Optica, “the lens reproduces the behavior of the crystalline lens, decreasing its thickness, expanding the equatorial diameter and flattening the surface during the accommodative process. Although there have been previous approaches to accommodating IOLs, these have not demonstrated an effective power change, probably because their design does not respond to the natural mechanism of the crystalline lens, or because they depend on the size or integrity of the capsular sac”

Full reference: Andres de la Hoz, James Germann, Eduardo Martinez-Enriquez, Daniel Pascual, Nandor Bekesi, Nicolas Alejandre-Alba, Carlos Dorronsoro, and Susana Marcos. “Design and ex situ performance of a shape-changing accommodating intraocular lens,” Optica 6, 1050-1057 (2019)

An extended depth of focus intraocular lens patented by CSIC implanted for the first time in patients

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Cataracts affect 50% of the population over 65 years, and cataract surgery involves about 28 million procedures per year. In cataract surgery, the crystalline lens is replaced by an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). These lenses have increasingly sophisticated designs, returning not only the transparency of the crystalline lens but also optimizing its optical quality.

Scientists of the VioBio Lab (Institute of Optics, CSIC) have designed an intraocular lens that increases the focus range of conventional aspheric monofocal lenses, maintaining optimal optical quality for far and intermediate distances. The refractive design avoids halos and other artifacts present in diffractive lenses, generating a natural vision at various distances. The technology, patented by CSIC, has been licensed to the Belgian company PhysIOL, which has proceeded to its industrialization in collaboration with VioBio Lab. The lenses have been implanted in patients for the first time this summer in Spain and the Czech Republic.

The Isofocal IOL was launched worldwide at the ESCRS Congress in Paris and was presented to the media yesterday September 15th at an event at the Eiffel Tower. 

CSIC Press Release here

Commercial breakthrough of the spin-off company 2EyesVision


2Eyes Vision, spin off company of the Visual Optics and Biophotonics Lab of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) has announced a round of venture capital  investment led by Bullnet Capital (round closed in August 2019). The investment will allow the company to commercially launch a first version of the SimVis Gekko. Other relevant funds have been obtained from ERC Proof of Concept Grant SimVisSim, European Institute of Technology Health Accelerator, NEOTEC (CDTI), Horizon 2020, EIT Health, Doctorados Industriales (CAM) and Torres Quevedo (MICINN). 

The SimVis technology is the result of a 7 year investigation and it allows cataract and presbyopic patients to experience, for the first time, the real world through multifocal corrections before contact lens fitting and intraocular lenses implantation, allowing the ophthalmologist to take a personalized decision on the lens to be implanted based on the patient’s preferences.

Now and until the 18th of September you can experiencie multifocality and learn everything about the SimVis Technology in 2EyesVision Booth (C-111) at the 37th edition of the ESCRS Congress


Vision with different presbyopia corrections simulated with the SimVis technology published in PLoS ONE


Presbyopia constitutes the loss of the eye’s ability to accommodate with age. There are several correction alternatives for presbyopia, such as contact lenses or multifocal intraocular lenses (bifocals, trifocals, extended focus), PresbyLASIK surgery, the correction of one eye for far and the other for near vision (monovision), the correction of one eye for far and the other with a multifocal lens. Researchers from the Institute of Optics (CSIC) have developed SimVis, a binocular and portable vision simulator, based on temporal multiplexing of two synchronized tunable lenses allowing see-through and programmable visual simulations of presbyopic corrections. In a recent study published in PLoS ONE, this technique has been used, for the first time, to compare the vision of presbyopic patients with the different binocular alternatives previously mentioned. According to Aiswaryah Radhakrishan, first author of the publication, “each patient shows a different preference for a particular combination of lenses, so that it is possible to select the optimal solution for the patient before prescribing a contact lens, or, more importantly, before intraocular lens implantation.”

Full reference: Radhakrishnan A., Pascual D., Marcos S., Dorronsoro C. Vision with different presbyopia corrections simulated with a portable binocular visual simulator. PLoS ONE 14(8): e0221144 (2019). 

Full article here

VioBio Lab and 2EyesVision at the ISOP Conference and Congress of the ESCRS in Paris


ESCRS 2019

Investigators from the Visual Optics and Biophotonics Lab and the spin-off company 2EyesVision will present latest results Sept 13-18 in Paris.

Follow the schedule of VioBio Lab presentations:

ISOP Presbyopia 2019: 

Friday 13

10:30h Susana Marcos “Isofocal IOL Concept”

11:30h Eduardo Martinez-Enriquez “3-D Measurement of Lens Dimensions”

11:44h Susana Marcos “Chromatic Aberration in the Human Eye: Optical and Perceptual Impact”

37th Congress of the ESCRS:

Saturday 14

12:20h Susana Marcos Clinical Research Symposia “Optical perspectives for optimising future IOLs”

19:15h Susana Marcos HOYA Evening Symposium “Using a custom made astigmatic eye model to compare the impact of decentration on the optical performance of leading Toric”

Sunday 15. 08:30h Susana Marcos Workshop on Visual Optics: “Aberrations of the optical system”

Monday 16. 09:38h Xoana Barcala Free Paper Session: “Effect of cataract on preoperative predictions of multifocal acceptance with SimVis Gekko”

Tuesday 1716:48h Susana Marcos Free Paper Session: “Longitudinal chromatic aberration and its impact on image quality in patients implanted with the Clareon® IOL”


S. Marcos, C. Lago, A. de Castro. “Isopure IOL: effect of corneal shape on simulated optical

M. Romero Insua, C. Benedi-Garcia, M. Vinas, N. Alejandre, I. Jimenez-Alfaro, S. Marcos. “In vivo monochromatic ocular aberrations in Clareon IOLimplanted patients”

In addition, 2Eyes Vision will present the SimVis Gekko, simulator of presbyopic corrections, at the ESCRS Exhibit (Visit Booth: C-111).

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