Shields has tested the device in live pigs to check that it fits and that it is biocompatible, and he is now pursuing funding for further animal and human trials. If the technology proves itself in these studies, it could represent an advance over existing surgical corrections for glaucoma. Such corrections often stop working over time, or work too well and allow too much fluid to escape the eye–which can also impair vision. What’s more, these expensive, complicated, and lengthy procedures are ill suited to glaucoma patients who need treatment in poor countries.
75 years ago in Technology Review
The Plastic Age
Above the economic horizon a new industry, the manufacture of plastics, is climbing into prominence. Dr. Wilson Compton, Executive Secretary of the National Lumber Manufacturers Association, declares that the aggregate value of plastic products in the United States is already equivalent to one-tenth that of the products of the lumber and wood-working industries combined, and the editors of Plastics assert that the volume of the plastics business has practically doubled every year, bringing its total this year up to one-quarter of a billion dollars.
What are plastics and how are they used? The material of which phonograph records are made is a commonly known product that falls into the plastic classification and, of course, there is celluloid. The first is known chemically as a shellac base plastic and the second as a cellulose nitrate plastic, but both of these are old stories. It is the discovery and spectacular development of the phenol formaldehyde resins such as Bakelite that has created an industry that approaches the magnitude of the lumber business and bids fair to challenge the supremacy of many others.
One large firm, for example, is offering for the first time “Beetle” ware, a type of tableware that is thin, light, and colorful, that will not scratch or chip or break under ordinary usage. Surely a boon to hotels and housewives!