The assignee for this patent, patent number 8771347, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Embodiments of the present invention generally relate to surgically implanted eye prostheses, in particular, to microfabricated, fluid-filled intraocular lens devices.
"An intraocular lens (IOL) can be used to replace a natural crystalline lens in human patients. Surgically replacing the crystalline lens includes making a main incision of approximately 2 to 4 millimeters (mm) in the periphery of the patient's cornea, cutting a 5.5 to 6 mm diameter circular hole in the eye's anterior capsule surrounding the lens, and removing the lens with phacoemulsification.
"Because replacing the crystalline lens with an intraocular lens is an invasive procedure, this option is reserved for when vision is significantly impaired. Most commonly, it is used when the lens has become cataracted.
"However, several factors are making this a less invasive procedure with faster recovery times. These include the trend of using smaller surgical instrumentation with a correspondingly smaller main incision to reduce postoperative recovery time and astigmatism. Furthermore, femtosecond pulse lasers are beginning to be used for lens/cataract removal, which makes the procedure safer, faster, and more accurate.
"The most common surgical complication of lens replacement is posterior capsular opacification (PCOS), which occurs when residual lens epithelial cells move to the posterior portion of the capsule and proliferate. This makes the capsule hazy and creates visual disturbances. PCOS is treated by externally using a neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet (Nd:YAG) laser to remove a circular section of the posterior capsule.
"Intraocular lenses are often designed with a square edge to prevent lens epithelial cells from migrating to the posterior capsule, and therefore prevents PCOS.
"Similar to posterior capsular opacification, anterior capsular opacification can also cause contraction of the lens capsule and visual opacification.
"Accommodation and Presbyopia
"'Accommodation' is where an eye changes optical power to focus on an object. This occurs from contraction of a ciliary muscle, which releases tension on the lens capsule. Upon release of this tension, the human lens naturally bulges out, increasing optical power.
"Presbyopia is a clinical condition in which the eye can no longer focus on near objects. It is believed that this is a multifactorial process caused primarily by a loss of elasticity of the human lens. Therefore, replacing the human lens with an accommodating intraocular lens provides the capability to restore focusing ability and cure presbyopia.
"Current intraocular lenses can be categorized into three categories: monofocal, multifocal, and accommodating.
"Monofocal lenses provide a single focal distance. Therefore, patients with a monofocal intraocular lens can no longer focus their eyes. This makes it difficult to focus on near objects.
"To alleviate this condition, multifocal intraocular lenses were developed. Multifocal intraocular lenses provide simultaneous focus at both near and far distances. However, because of the unique optical design, patients may have a loss of sharpness of vision even when glasses are used. Patients can also experience visual disturbances such as halos or glare.
"Accommodating intraocular lenses use the natural focusing ability of the eye to change the power of the intraocular lens. There are many designs of accommodating intraocular lenses, including single optics that translate along the visual axis of the eye to focus, dual optics that move two lenses closer and further apart, and curvature-changing lenses that change focal power by changing the curvature of the lens.
"Less invasive and faster surgical procedures in conjunction with accommodating intraocular lenses may allow intraocular lenses to be used for wider applications than are currently used today. This includes treatments for cataracts as well as presbyopia. This is a much larger market because almost all individuals undergo presbyopia around the fourth decade of life."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, NewsRx editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Systems, devices, and methods of the present application are related to an intraocular lens having one or more valve areas consisting of an elastomeric patch. The elastomeric patch is sized such that it self-seals after a needle puncture, such that the optically transparent fluid within the intraocular lens can be injected or withdrawn in order to adjust a lens after implantation. A slit can be manufactured into the patch that is sized for self-closing and allows standard gauge surgical needles to pass through. The patch can include a stepped area for additional closing power. The patch can be brightly colored so that it is more easily found by a surgeon. In another design, a wagon-wheel shaped valve with a plurality of wedge-shaped openings can be encapsulated in the walls of the lens. The center of the wagon wheel or each of the wedge-shaped openings can be pierced by a needle.
"An intraocular lens can have a shape-memory alloy whose curvature can be wirelessly adjusted without later surgery. Air bubble-capture traps can be manufactured into the internal side of the lens in order to trap bubbles and hold them until a surgeon can remove them. A plurality of ports, such as the patches described above, can be placed so that multiple instruments can access the lens simultaneously. Markings on the side of the lens can indicate pressure or other stress in the lens.
"Adhesive can be used to not only form a bond between an intraocular lens and the lens capsule but also placed to prevent cells from migrating to the optical center region of the lens.
"Some embodiments of the present application are related to an intraocular lens apparatus. The lens apparatus includes a biocompatible polymer balloon fillable with an optically clear medium, the balloon configured for insertion into a capsular bag of an eye, and an elastomeric patch intimately attached to the balloon, the elastomeric membrane having a thickness sufficient self-sealing of needle punctures at nominal lens pressures.
"The patch can have a thickness equal to or greater than 100 .mu.m and or a thickness equal to or less than 700 .mu.m, thereby being thin enough to avoid contact with a posterior iris when implanted in an eye. In some applications, the patch has a thickness between 160 .mu.m and 350 .mu.m, and in other application, the patch has a thickness between 150 .mu.m and 250 .mu.m.
"The patch can be colored, and it can have a pre-formed slit (straight or with a stepped portion) adapted for a needle to pass through.
"Some embodiments are related to an intraocular lens apparatus including a biocompatible polymer balloon fillable with an optically clear medium, the balloon configured for insertion into a capsular bag of an eye, and a shape memory alloy configured to be wirelessly modifiable by a remote source.
"Some embodiments are related to an intraocular lens apparatus including a biocompatible polymer balloon fillable with an optically clear medium, the balloon configured for insertion into a capsular bag of an eye, and means for capturing air bubbles from inside the balloon, such as an out-pocket with a one-way valve and a port for admittance of a surgical instrument for removing air bubbles.
"Some embodiments are related to an intraocular lens apparatus including a biocompatible polymer balloon, the balloon having a plurality of individually fillable compartments, each compartment fillable with an optically clear medium, the balloon configured for insertion into a capsular bag of an eye.
"Some embodiments are related to an intraocular lens apparatus including a biocompatible polymer balloon fillable with an optically clear medium, the balloon configured for insertion into a capsular bag of an eye, and a plurality of ports attached to the balloon, the ports facilitating simultaneous entry into the balloon by a plurality of surgical injection devices.
"Some embodiments are related to an intraocular lens apparatus including a biocompatible polymer balloon fillable with an optically clear medium, the balloon configured for insertion into a capsular bag of an eye, and a needle-pierceable port formed from a frame of material having a rigidity greater than that of the balloon, the frame encapsulated in place on a wall of the balloon by an envelope of polymer material affixed to the wall.
"The frame can have a wagon-wheel configuration defining a plurality of wedge-shaped openings, each of which provides a needle-pierceable port. Alternately, the center of the wagon-wheel configuration can be pierced.
"Some embodiments are related to an intraocular lens apparatus including a biocompatible polymer balloon fillable with an optically clear medium, the balloon configured for insertion into a capsular bag of an eye, the balloon having a plurality of circular or other pre-spaced markings thereon indicating an amount of flex and/or pressure within the balloon.
"Some embodiments are related to a method of coupling an intraocular lens apparatus and a lens capsule. The method includes applying a circular annulus of adhesive, and implanting a lens apparatus such that the circular annulus of adhesive adheres the lens apparatus to a lens capsule, the circular annulus of adhesive forming a barrier to prevent migration of cells.
"Reference to the remaining portions of the specification, including the drawings and claims, will realize other features and advantages of the present invention. Further features and advantages of the present invention, as well as the structure and operation of various embodiments of the present invention, are described in detail below with respect to the accompanying drawings. In the drawings, like reference numbers indicate identical or functionally similar elements."
For more information, see this patent: DeBoer, Charles; Tai, Yu-Chong; Humayun, Mark. Accommodating Intraocular Lens. U.S. Patent Number 8771347, filed
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