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Understanding Pancakes Can Lead To Better Glaucoma Treatments!

Update Date: Feb 08, 2016 11:48 AM EST

Making the perfect pancake could help surgeons perfect eye surgeries that alleviate glaucoma, researchers from University College London have suggested.

Researchers analyzed 14 pancake recipes from the around the world to determine how escape of water from the batter affects the pancake outcome. While thin batters allow easier escape, resulting in even surface and coloration, thick batters trap water vapor and cause unevenness besides uneven color, CNET reports.

Two parameters determine the outcome: the baker's percentage, which is percentage of milk to flour, and the size of the pancake, Gizmodo explains. Thick pancakes like the Dutch poffertjes have a low aspect ratio while thin French crepes have high aspect ratio. Thinner batters have high milk for the same amount of flour and thus a higher baker's percentage.

Dr. Yann Bouremel of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and UCL Mechanical Engineering explained through a video what making perfect pancakes entail.

"As soon as you add more milk, the batter becomes thinner it results in smooth bottom surface of pancakes. The vapor lifts the batter uniformly. As you flip the pancake to cook the other side, a ring is formed. The more uniform it is, the ring tends to go towards the edge," he said.

Eye surgeons explore ways of easing pressure build-up in the eye of glaucoma patients to prevent damage to the optic nerve. The sclera or the white of the eye is like a thin sheet, not unlike pancake batter. Studying escape of water and vapor through the batter could hopefully better our understanding of fluid interaction with thin sheets and lead to improved treatments options for patients.

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