Ridley, Nicholas Harold Lloyd

SUBJECT AREA: Medical technology
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b. 10 July 1906 Leicester, England
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English ophthalmic surgeon, pioneer of intra-ocular lens implants.
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Following a medical education at Cambridge and St Thomas's Hospital, London, he was appointed at an early age to the post of Surgeon to Moorfields Eye Hospital (Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital). During the Second World War he served abroad in Africa as an ophthalmic specialist and became an authority on onchocerciasis (river blindness) and filiariasis.
His experience of the inertness of plastic material retained inside the eye in injured aircraft personnel led him to investigate the possibility of replacing cataractous lenses with intra-ocular plastic lenses. After his appointment as Consultant Ophthalmologist to St Thomas's in 1946, the first lens implant procedure was successfully carried out in 1949. The implantation of glass lenses in the treatment of myopia had been attempted in Germany at the end of the nineteenth century, but the weight of the material had militated against a successful outcome.
It was some time before the new procedure, which owed much to his surgical dexterity, became widely accepted, but the work of Strampelli, Binkhorst and others led to its wider application; intra-ocular implants are now a standard element of the surgical treatment of cataract.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
FRS 1986. Royal Society Galen Medal 1986; Crook Gold Medal 1988.
Bibliography
1951, "Intraocular acrylic lenses", Trans. Ophth. Soc. UK.
1964, "Intraocular lenses—past, present and future", Trans. Ophth. Soc. UK.
Further Reading
S.Duke-Elder, 1969, System of Ophthalmology, Vol. 9, London.
MG

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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