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World J Methodol. Jan 20, 2022; 12(1): 1-19
Published online Jan 20, 2022. doi: 10.5662/wjm.v12.i1.1
Ophthalmological instruments of Al-Halabi fill in a gap in the biomedical engineering history
Mohamed N Saad
Mohamed N Saad, Biomedical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Minia University, Minia 61111, Egypt
Author contributions: Saad MN designed the study, drafted the article, prepared the figures and tables, granted permission for figures reproduction, designed the outline, and read and approved the final version of the article to be published.
Conflict-of-interest statement: There is no conflict of interest associated with the single author contributed his efforts in this manuscript.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Mohamed N Saad, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Minia University, Misr Aswan Agricultural Road, Minia 61111, Egypt.
Received: January 13, 2021
Peer-review started: January 15, 2021
First decision: October 17, 2021
Revised: October 25, 2021
Accepted: December 11, 2021
Article in press: December 11, 2021
Published online: January 20, 2022

Al-Halabi is an intriguing ophthalmologist who invented numerous surgical instruments for treating various eye diseases. The illustrations of such instruments in his invaluable book “Kitab Al-Kafi fi Al-Kuhl” reflect his willingness to teach. Moreover, he included in his book a magnificent illustration of the anatomical structure of the eye. The book reflects Al-Halabi’s medical practice and teaching and shows several advanced medical techniques and tools. His invaluable comments reflect his deep experimental observations in the field of ophthalmology. The current article provides proof that Al-Halabi is one of our early biomedical engineers from more than 800 years ago. Al-Halabi represents a ring in the chain of biomedical engineering history. His surgical instruments represent the biomechanics field. Al-Halabi should be acknowledged among the biomedical engineering students for his various contributions in the field of surgical instruments.

Keywords: Al-Halabi, Biomedical engineering education, Biomedical engineering history, Ophthalmological instruments

Core Tip: Medieval Islamic ophthalmological instruments are a rich, complex, and understudied subject. This topic is interesting and deserves more attention than it has had. The book of Al-Halabi is indeed one of the interesting books on ophthalmology written in Arabic. The ophthalmological instruments included in Al-Halabi’s table represent an untold story about the contributions of Muslim and Arab scholars in the field of ophthalmology. The aim of the present article is to fill in one of the gaps to some extent in biomedical engineering history. The ophthalmological instruments represent the biomechanics field.