ELZA’s research into corneal disease

Members of the ELZA Institute have contributed significantly to the improvement of currently used technologies that reshape the human cornea.

One of our primary research foci is on corneal diseases that can lead to irregular astigmatism that cannot be corrected by spectacles. These diseases can be very debilitating, as they can massively reduce people’s visual acuity and in some cases, render them effectively blind. A typical cause of this amount of irregular astigmatism is keratoconus (and other corneal ectasias like Terrien’s or Pellucid Marginal Degeneration) but scarring due to corneal infection or injury are also common causes. It could happen to anyone. 

ELZA’s surgeons and researchers are heavily focused in progressing the field in terms of not only treating ectasias with cross-linking, but also using the excimer laser, where possible, to improve vision post-cross-linking vision. 

With our research laboratories at both the University of Zurich and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, we are deeply involved in research on this topic and our members give numerous international lectures every year across Europe, Asia, Africa and America.

Laboratory Research

Clinical Studies


Ocular Cell Biology
and Biomechanics

We took a biological approach to what has been classically viewed as a physics problem. If the laser ablation is causing inflammation, can we change how the laser energy is delivered to the cornea in order to cause less inflammation?
And so, at this year’s annual meeting of the European Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ESCRS 2020), held online from 2–4 October 2020, a poster, presented by Dr. Emilio Torres-Netto, entitled “Corneal cross-linking for treating infectious keratitis: final results of the prospective randomized controlled multicentre trial” took first place in the Refractive Surgery category. The phase III trial results showed that corneal ulcers can be treated just as effectively with PACK-CXL as with the latest antibiotics, something that will soon become increasingly important.
ELZA at the WOC 2020 Virtual Meeting: Dion Paridaens MD, PhD, Chief Executive of the European Society of Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (ESOPRS) and oculoplastic & orbital surgeon at the ELZA Institute, Zurich took part in WOC 2020 Virtual Meeting in his role as a Subspecialty Coordinator for Orbital, Oculoplastic, and Lacrimal Diseases.
Brazil’s top Ophthalmology magazine, Oftalmologica Em Foco, features ELZA’s Prof. Hafezi and Dr. Torres-Netto exploring the story of how CXL at the slit lamp is becoming a reality.

The ELZA Institute