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    How tear proteomics can help optometry




    While tear proteomics has tremendous possibilities for future development, the near future of POC diagnostic testing is very promising.

    ATD is working to significantly increase the number of single or multi-analyte tests that correlate with a variety of other specific ocular conditions, according to company CEO Marcus Smith.

    “ATD has one goal: to provide ophthalmic physicians POC science-based lab testing tools necessary to yield diagnostic precision, guide focused treatment decisions, measure treatment efficacy and improve clinical workflow efficiency on a platform that is rapid, inexpensive, and simple to use,” he says.

    Related: Incorporating lactoberrin and immunoglobin testing

    Other players in this space also foresee expansion.

    TearLab plans a global launch for its Discovery platform in 2018.

    “The TearLab Discovery platform utilizes a lab-on-a-chip technology to simultaneously collect and analyze nanoliter samples of tear fluid in less than two minutes,” says David C. Eldridge, OD, FAAO, vice president of clinical affairs and professional development.

    Dr. Eldridge says that the first test card that TearLab will commercially launch includes osmolarity plus two inflammation markers, IL1-RA and MMP-9.

    RPS Diagnostics is developing a second-generation, quantitative single-use test for inflammation that should be available in two years, according to Robert Sambursky, MD, CEO, president, and chairman.

    The new test will provide a quantitative result instead of the positive/negative result the test now yields. See Figure 2. Note that InflammaDry and AdenoPlus were acquired by Quidel Corporation from RPS Diagnostics in May 2017.

    Future is now

    The future of tear proteomics is exciting, but clinicians have been slow to adopt POC testing.

    “Optometry has an opportunity to blow out point-of-care testing in contact lenses and dry eye,” says Dr. Sambursky. “There are many more indications for the technology’s use, such as glaucoma, dry eye, cataract, LASIK, and PRK.”

    “Manufacturers are making continuous progress in terms of research and development to create new products with newer, advanced technology,” says Smith. “The adoption of diagnostic lab testing has been measured but is growing steadily, and in the future testing will be incorporated into the great majority of ophthalmic clinics worldwide. Unfortunately, some states still prohibit optometrists from performing POC laboratory testing on their patients, and that will need to be addressed.”


    Ernie Bowling, OD, MS, FAAO
    Dr. Ernie Bowling is Chief Optometric Editor of Optometry Times. He received his Doctor of Optometry and Master of Science in ...


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