Pharmacological regulation of optical properties of the lens (PROPeL) study

Our study aims to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate whether VUITY eye drops, the first ever U.S. FDA-approved eye drop for treating presbyopia, can change the water circulation and protein distribution in the lens.

What's involved?

Presbyopia is the loss of the eye’s near focusing ability with age. Most people begin to notice the symptoms of presbyopia at 40-50 years old, when they start having to rely on reading glasses to see near objects clearly. Presbyopia is believed to be due to a ‘stiffening‘ of the crystalline lens inside the eye with age, because of failure to properly circulate water and important nutrients to protect its proteins against damage.

The results of this study will inform us on future strategies for developing preventative treatments for presbyopia.

You will be asked to attend a few study visits at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences (Grafton campus). The anticipated total amount of time is 4 hours across 3 visits (1 optometric examination and 2 MRI scan sessions).

At these visits, VUITY eye drops will be instilled into your eyes, and we will conduct tests on your eyes/ MRI scans to compare measurements before and after instillation of the eye drops.

Vouchers will be offered as koha for volunteering your time toward the study.


Eligibility criteria

You are eligible to participate if you:

  • Are between 40 and 55 years old
  • Have healthy vision, either with or without presbyopia
  • Do not have a high spectacle prescription that is over ±6 Dioptres
  • Do not have any eye diseases or eye conditions that affect your vision
  • Have not had previous eye surgery
  • Do not have a personal or family history of epilepsy or seizures
  • Do not have a history of neurological disorders or disease
  • Do not have metal implants (e.g. a cardiac pacemaker) that prevent you from having an MRI scan
  • Have not experienced a serious head injury or skull fracture
  • Are not pregnant or breastfeeding

Contact details

Dr Alyssa Lie
Lead researcher
Phone: 021 0266 4662

Further information

This study has been approved by the Health and Disability Ethics Committee (HDEC), reference 2023 EXP 13538.