News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Ocular Implant Insertion Apparatus and Methods", for Approval

May 15, 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 inventors Kudo, Kazunori (Saku-shi, JP); Noda, Masahiro (Toda-shi, JP), filed on December 31, 2013, was made available online on May 1, 2014.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present inventions relate generally to apparatus and methods for inserting an ocular implant into an eye.

"There are a variety of instances where an ocular implant is inserted into the anterior chamber, posterior chamber, cornea, vitreous space and/or other portion of an eye. Exemplary ocular implants include, but are not limited to, lenses, capsular tension rings, ocular prosthesis and lamellar transplants. An intraocular lens (IOL), for example, may be inserted into an aphakic eye that has undergone a cataract surgery or may be inserted into a phakic eye during a refractive surgery. One type of lens is a foldable lens. Foldable lenses are formed from soft material such as a silicone elastomer, soft acrylic, or hydrogel and may be inserted into the eye through a small incision. Lens insertion apparatus, which may be used to push a foldable lens into an eye through a nozzle, generally include screw-type insertion apparatus and push-type insertion apparatus. In both cases, the lens insertion apparatus may include a plunger that is used to push a folded lens through the nozzle into the eye by way of an incision that is relatively small, e.g., an incision that is smaller than the diameter of an IOL optic.

"Loading an ocular implant into an inserter can be a troublesome portion of the insertion procedure. The implant may be contaminated, damaged or improperly placed into the inserter by operator, e.g., a surgeon or assistant. Accordingly, in some instances, the insertion apparatus is preloaded, i.e., the insertion apparatus is shipped from the factory with the ocular implant (e.g., an IOL) stored therein. An operator using a preloaded inserter does not place the implant into the insertion apparatus, thereby eliminating the possibility of the aforementioned operator error associated with loading.

"In addition to the basic functions of storing and inserting an IOL or other ocular implant, it may also be desirable for the insertion apparatus to minimize the physical load on the ocular implant during storage in order to ensure that the ocular implant returns to its unstressed state after being inserted into the eye. It may also be desirable to fold the IOL or other ocular implant into as small a state as possible in order to reduce the size of the incision and the likelihood of corneal astigmatism caused by the surgery or infection. Thus, the desired insertion apparatus must be able to fold the unstressed ocular implant into a small state in a predetermined direction, and into a predetermined shape, in order to insure that the plunger can move the folded ocular implant through the nozzle without the insertion apparatus becoming clogged at or near the nozzle or the ocular implant being damaged. To that end, instead of using only a plunger to move the lens through the folding and insertion processes, some insertion apparatus have been configured to fold and move an IOL in stepwise fashion through the use of multiple IOL moving structures. Examples of such insertion apparatus are illustrated and described in PCT Pub. No. WO 2009/148091 (also published as US 2011/0082463) and Laid-open JP Pat. Pub. No. 2001-104347 (also published as US 2001/0007942).

"The present inventor has, however, determined that insertion apparatus with multiple ocular implant moving structures are susceptible to improvement. For example, the present inventor has determined that such insertion apparatus are susceptible to erroneous operation, such as use of the moving structures in an incorrect sequence."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "An exemplary ocular implant insertion system includes a case and an ocular implant insertion apparatus including an ocular implant, a first movable structure that moves at least a portion of the ocular implant during movement thereof, and a second movable structure that moves the ocular implant through the nozzle. The ocular implant insertion apparatus is located at least partially within the case in pre-use state wherein the first and second movable structures have not folded and moved the ocular implant. The respective configurations of the case and the ocular implant insertion apparatus are such that the ocular implant insertion apparatus is not removable from the case when the ocular implant insertion apparatus is in the pre-use state and is removable after the first movable structure has moved at least a portion of the optical implant.

"An exemplary method of using a system including a case and a preloaded ocular implant insertion apparatus locked to the case includes the steps of unlocking the insertion apparatus from the case by moving a first movable structure a distance sufficient to at least partial fold a stored ocular implant, removing the insertion apparatus from the case, and pushing the ocular implant from the insertion apparatus with a second movable structure.

"There are a number of advantages associated with such systems and methods. For example, such systems and methods prevent the use of the first and second movable structures in an incorrect sequence.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"Detailed description of exemplary embodiments of the inventions will be made with reference to the accompanying drawings.

"FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an IOL insertion system, including an IOL insertion apparatus and an insertion apparatus case, in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.

"FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the exemplary IOL insertion apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1.

"FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the insertion tube of the exemplary IOL insertion apparatus illustrated in FIG. 2.

"FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the main body of the exemplary IOL insertion apparatus illustrated in FIG. 2.

"FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the lens placement section of the exemplary IOL insertion apparatus illustrated in FIG. 2.

"FIG. 6 is a section view of the insertion tube and lens placement section of the exemplary IOL insertion apparatus illustrated in FIG. 2.

"FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the plunger of the exemplary IOL insertion apparatus illustrated in FIG. 2.

"FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the distal portion of the plunger rod of the exemplary IOL insertion apparatus illustrated in FIG. 2.

"FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the exemplary insertion apparatus case illustrated in FIG. 1.

"FIG. 10 is a partial section view of a portion of the exemplary IOL insertion system illustrated in FIG. 1.

"FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the exemplary cover illustrated in FIG. 1.

"FIG. 12 is a perspective view showing one aspect of the operation of the exemplary IOL insertion system illustrated in FIG. 1.

"FIG. 13 is a perspective view showing another aspect of the operation of the exemplary IOL insertion system illustrated in FIG. 1.

"FIG. 14 is a partial section view showing another aspect of the operation of the exemplary IOL insertion system illustrated in FIG. 1.

"FIG. 15 is a perspective view showing another aspect of the operation of the exemplary IOL insertion system illustrated in FIG. 1.

"FIG. 16 is a perspective view showing another aspect of the operation of the exemplary IOL insertion system illustrated in FIG. 1.

"FIG. 17 is a perspective view of another exemplary IOL insertion apparatus that may be combined with a case in the manner illustrated in FIG. 1 to form an IOL insertion system.

"FIG. 18 is a perspective view of an IOL insertion system, including an IOL insertion apparatus and an insertion apparatus case, in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.

"FIG. 19 is a perspective view of the insertion tube of the exemplary IOL insertion apparatus illustrated in FIG. 18.

"FIG. 20 is a perspective view of a portion of the exemplary IOL insertion system illustrated in FIG. 18.

"FIG. 21 is a perspective view of a portion of the slider and the lens placement section of the exemplary IOL insertion apparatus illustrated in FIG. 18.

"FIG. 22 is a perspective view of the lens placement section of the exemplary IOL insertion apparatus illustrated in FIG. 18.

"FIG. 23 is a perspective view of a portion of the slider of the exemplary IOL insertion apparatus illustrated in FIG. 18.

"FIG. 24 is a perspective view of a portion of the plunger rod of the exemplary IOL insertion apparatus illustrated in FIG. 18.

"FIG. 25 is a side view of a portion of the exemplary IOL insertion apparatus illustrated in FIG. 18.

"FIG. 26 is a perspective view of an IOL insertion system, including an IOL insertion apparatus and an insertion apparatus case, in accordance with one embodiment of a present invention.

"FIG. 27 is a side view of a portion of the exemplary IOL insertion system illustrated in FIG. 26.

"FIG. 28 is a side view of a portion of the exemplary IOL insertion system illustrated in FIG. 26.

"FIG. 29 is a side view of a portion of the exemplary IOL insertion system illustrated in FIG. 26."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Kudo, Kazunori; Noda, Masahiro. Ocular Implant Insertion Apparatus and Methods. Filed December 31, 2013 and posted May 1, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1421&p=29&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140424.PD.&OS=PD/20140424&RS=PD/20140424

Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Surgery.

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Source: Politics & Government Week