News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Apparatus, System and Method for Providing a Coating for an Implanatable Lens", for Approval

June 5, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventor Jain, Rakhi (Fort Worth, TX), filed on January 22, 2014, was made available online on May 22, 2014.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Surgery on the human eye has become commonplace in recent years. Many patients pursue eye surgery as an elective procedure, such as to avoid the use of contacts or glasses, and other patients may find it necessary to pursue surgery to correct an adverse condition in the eye. Such adverse conditions may include, for example, cataracts or presbyopia, as well as other conditions known to those skilled in the art that may negatively affect elements of the eye. For example, a cataract may increase the opacity of the natural lens of the eye, causing impaired vision or blindness. Correction of such adverse conditions may be achieved by surgically removing a cloudy or diseased lens in the patient's eye and replacing it with an artificial lens, known as an intraocular lens (IOL).

"The anatomy and physiology of the human eye is well understood. Generally speaking, the structure of the human eye includes an outer layer formed of two parts, namely the cornea and the sclera. The middle layer of the eye includes the iris, the choroid, and the ciliary body. The inner layer of the eye includes the retina. The eye also includes, physically associated with the middle layer, a crystalline lens that is contained within an elastic capsule, referred to herein as the lens capsule, or capsular bag.

"Image formation in the eye occurs by entry of image-forming light to the eye through the cornea, and refraction by the cornea and the crystalline lens to focus the image-forming light on the retina. The retina provides the light sensitive tissue of the eye.

"Functionally, the cornea has a greater, and generally constant, optical power in comparison to the crystalline lens. The power of the crystalline lens, while smaller than that of the cornea, may be changed when the eye needs to focus at different distances. This change, or 'accommodation,' is achieved by changing the shape of the crystalline lens. Accommodation, as used herein, includes the making of a change in the focus of the eye for different distances. For example, in order to change the shape of the crystalline lens for accommodation, the ciliary muscles may relax to cause ligaments (zonules) that support the crystalline lens to relax, thereby allowing the crystalline lens to become more rounded.

"The iris operates to change the aperture size of the eye. More specifically, the diameter of the incoming light beam is controlled by the iris, which forms the aperture stop of the eye, and the ciliary muscles may contract, as referenced above, to provide accommodation in conjunction with any needed change in the size of the aperture provided by the iris. The opening, or aperture, in the iris is called the pupil.

"Correction of defects or degradation in the aspects of the eye may occur surgically, as mentioned above, or non-surgically. In a simple example, it is common to wear glasses or contact lenses to improve vision by correcting myopic (near-sighted), hyperopic (far-sighted) and astigmatic eyesight. Rather than relying on glasses or contacts, elective laser refractive surgery, or other eye surgery, may serve to improve the refractive state of the eye, and may thereby decrease or eliminate dependence on glasses or contact lenses. Additional surgeries may include various methods of surgical remodeling of the cornea, or cataract surgery, for example. Surgery may also serve to implant an IOL, either in addition to the crystalline lens, which addition is referred to as a phakic IOL, or upon removal of the crystalline lens, which replacement is referred to as a pseudophakic IOL.

"An IOL may be implanted in the eye, for example, as a replacement for the natural crystalline lens after cataract surgery, or to alter the optical properties of an eye in which the natural lens remains. IOLs often include an optic, and may preferably include at least one flexible fixation member, or haptic, that extends from the optic and becomes affixed in the eye to secure the lens in proper position to provide the desired vision correction. The optic typically includes an optically clear lens, and the opacity of the haptic may vary.

"More specifically, the IOL may consist of a small plastic lens with haptics comprised of plastic side struts. The IOL may generally be made of an inflexible material, such as polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), for example, or of a flexible material. The IOL may be a fixed monofocal lens matched to distance vision, or a multifocal lens that provides the recipient with multiple-focused vision at far and reading distances, for example. The IOL may also be a toric IOL to correct for astigmatism or an accommodating IOL that provides the recipient with vision at all distances (far, intermediate, and near) by moving and/or changing shape with the use of the muscles of the eye.

"Flexible, softer materials may be preferred for the optic of the IOL, such as in order to allow for greater deformation, and thereby increased power change, in vivo. That is, the softer, more flexible materials mimic the mechanical properties of the natural lens material at a young age. However, with softer materials comes the concern that the optic may be more easily damaged, particularly during surgical insertion through a surgical incision and in placement and manipulation of the IOL in the capsular bag.

"Implantation of an IOL into the eye involves making this surgical incision in the eye. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that it is advantageous to minimize the size of the surgical incision. Currently, the incision necessary for the insertion of a soft IOL may be in a range up to approximately 3.2-4.1 mm. A smaller incision reduces trauma to the eye and may speed healing and may reduce any surgically-related optical effects. However, as the size of the incision is decreased, there will arise a need to more compactly deliver lenses, particularly to avoid damage to the IOL during insertion through the smaller incision.

"Further, insertion of a lens through the incision in the eye during a surgical procedure may cause post-operative inflammation, increased intraocular pressure, and/or posterior and anterior capsular opacification (PCO and ACO), and, for example, and these effects must be accounted for by the surgeon, both during and following surgery. If not accounted for, these effects may cause the onset of detrimental side effects, or may cause a failure to correct vision.

"Thus, an implanted optic may be damaged upon insertion into the eye, and/or may cause temporary or permanent damage to the eye due to the insertion, thereby adversely affecting optical performance and/or cosmetic appearance. Likewise, surgical side effects that may cause such temporary damage from the insertion must be treated or prevented, preferably without further damage to the lens or the eye, or performance of the implanted optic may be adversely affected.

"A need therefore exists to protect an implantable lens, such as an intraocular lens, comprised of a soft optic material, during insertion, and/or to negate the adverse side effects of implantation of a lens."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "An apparatus, system and method for coating an implantable lens for implantation, wherein the lens includes at least an optic, is disclosed. The apparatus, system and method may include at least one coating layer applied to at least one surface of the optic, wherein the coating layer may at least partially protect the optic during the implantation, and wherein the coating layer may be removable following implantation. The coating layer may include a protectant, a lubricant and/or medication, and may be in the form of a biodegradable polymer and/or a film.

"The apparatus, system and method may, more specifically, be for coating an intraocular lens. Such an apparatus, system and method for coating and/or protecting an intraocular lens may include a means physically associated with the intraocular lens for protecting the lens at the implantation and a means for removing the protective means upon the implantation. The means for removal may include, for example, a tab. The tab may be sized to accommodate a surgical tool for the implantation. The tab may include one or more features that aid in removal of the protective means. Such features may include one of color and texture.

"The apparatus, system and method may also include maintaining characteristics of an intraocular lens. For example, the method of maintaining characteristics of an intraocular lens may include coating the intraocular lens with a protective coating and/or a medicinal coating prior to implantation, enabling the implantation of the intraocular lens, and removing at least one of the protective coating and/or the medicinal coating after the implantation.

"An intraocular lens suitable for implanting into an eye is also disclosed. The lens may include an optic for improving the vision of the eye, and a haptic for supporting the optic within the capsular bag of the eye. At least one of the optic and the haptic may include at least one coating layer, wherein the at least one coating layer may at least partially protect the at least one of the optic and the haptic at least during the implantation. In an embodiment, the at least one coating layer is removable following implantation. The coating layer may additionally provide medication.

"The medication is on the at least one surface of the coating layer proximate to the optic. The medication may comprise a treatment, such as for reducing intraocular pressure. The medication may be, for example, a steroid. The medication may, for example, be activated by the implantation.

"Thus, the present invention protects an implantable lens during insertion, and/or negates the adverse side effects of implantation of a lens, such as an intraocular lens.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

"Understanding of the present invention will be facilitated by consideration of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like numerals refer to like parts:

"FIG. 1 illustrates a diagram of the eye;

"FIG. 2 illustrates a diagram of an eye with an implanted IOL;

"FIG. 3 illustrates an IOL according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 4 illustrates an exemplary optic for use in the present invention;

"FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary haptic and optic for use in the present invention;

"FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary dual optic lens for use in the present invention;

"FIG. 7 illustrates a coating formed on an optic of the type discussed with respect to FIGS. 3-6;

"FIG. 8 illustrates a coating formed on an optic according to an aspect of the present invention;

"FIG. 9 illustrates an optic with a film coating a surface according to an aspect of the present invention;

"FIG. 10 illustrates a method of providing a protective coating on an optic according to an aspect of the present invention; and

"FIG. 11 illustrates a method of providing a protective coating on an optic and haptic according to an aspect of the present invention."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Jain, Rakhi. Apparatus, System and Method for Providing a Coating for an Implanatable Lens. Filed January 22, 2014 and posted May 22, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1382&p=28&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140515.PD.&OS=PD/20140515&RS=PD/20140515

Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Surgery.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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