Project Catacure

Project Background

  • Cataract is the major cause of blindness worldwide (20 million people per year according to WHO)
  • Approx 85% is age related
  • Current methods of diagnosing cataract of the eye have serious limitations and are only qualitative and subjective.
  • They tend to allow detection of only late changes and obvious opacities.
  • Treatment is only possible by surgery, to remove the affected lens and replace with a plastic alternative
  • Cataract lens extraction and plastic lens implantation is the most commonly performed surgery.
  • Surgery is putting a considerable strain on the health care system worldwide.
  • Cataract surgery is not without its risks. Visual loss is not uncommon.


  • The integration in two pilots of new bio photonic modules to create and test in real application settings medical prototypes for the early diagnosis of cataract and the non-invasive treatment.
  • CATACURE is based on two recent bio photonic findings in the field of tryptophan fluorescence (tf) and non-invasive photo bleaching of the human lens by femtosecond laser pulses. TF has the capability of monitoring such treatment in vivo and early evidence both from fluorescence and chemistry suggests photochemical reversal


  • This project provided prototypes of two innovative medical instruments manufactured by EBS
  • These instruments were provided to two eye hospitals for pre-clinical pilot evaluation and preparation towards clinical trials.
  • The project was based on previous European collaborations in FP6, FP7 and EUROSTARS projects.
  • The project started on 01/01/14 and lasted 36 months with completion on 31/12/16.


Successful completion and positive feedback from the European Commisson with the following recommendations

  • It is recommended the remaining preclinical and clinical tests to be completed, especially those planned on whole eyes ex vivo and whole eyes in vivo in rabbits as these will provide results that are crucial for future commercialization.
  • Further tests and improvement of the diagnostic prototype is strongly recommended to enable its commercialization.
  • It is recommended to continue the work related to the development of the treatment device.


For further information visit the CATACURE website or email