In an effort to avoid serious side effects suffered after surgery to repair retinal detachment, vision scientists have developed a new product to help stabilize the eye while it heals.

The research was presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) this week in Orlando, Fla.

In a recent study, Healaflow® a gel based on one of the most common compounds found in the liquid that fills the eye, was tested in rabbit eyes.

After surgery to repair retinal detachment in the rabbits, Healaflow® did not appear to inflict any additional damage to the rabbits' retina structure or function, setting it apart from other clinically available alternatives.

Retinal detachment is a vision-threatening condition where the light-sensing part of the eye, the retina, pulls away from the back wall of the eye, leading to blindness.

About 1 in 300 people are expected to be affected by the condition in their lifetime.

Abstract Title: A cross-linked hyaluronic acid hydrogel (Healaflow ®) as a potential vitreous substitute