Eye care Product innovations of 2018

What recent innovations are pushing the boundaries of diagnostic, treatment, and state-of-the-art eye care? Here we feature a few eye care innovations that will fuel some of the key trends in 2018.

Picture Courtesy: www.eyesonlincoln.com

3D print prototype for ‘bionic eye’

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have, for the first time, fully 3D printed an array of light receptors on a hemispherical surface. This discovery marks a significant step toward creating a “bionic eye” that could someday help blind people see or sighted people see better.

“Bionic eyes are usually thought of as science fiction, but now we are closer than ever using a multimaterial 3D printer,” said Michael McAlpine, a co-author of the study and University of Minnesota Benjamin Mayhugh Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Researchers started with a hemispherical glass dome to show how they could overcome the challenge of printing electronics on a curved surface. Using their custom-built 3D printer, they started with a base ink of silver particles. The dispensed ink stayed in place and dried uniformly instead of running down the curved surface. The researchers then used semiconducting polymer materials to print photodiodes, which convert light into electricity. The entire process takes about an hour.

Picture Courtesy: University of Minnesota, McAlpine Group

McAlpine said the most surprising part of the process was the 25 per cent efficiency in converting the light into electricity they achieved with the fully 3D-printed semiconductors.

“We have a long way to go to routinely print active electronics reliably, but our 3D-printed semiconductors are now starting to show that they could potentially rival the efficiency of semiconducting devices fabricated in microfabrication facilities,” McAlpine said.

The research is published in Advanced Materials, a peerreviewed scientific journal covering materials science.

The comprehensive OCT eye analyser

Haag-Streit UK introduces Eyestar 900 – a new Swept Source-based OCT device for refractive, cataract and glaucoma surgeons. Precise OCT measurements deliver elevation-based topography maps of the front and back corneal surface. Additionally, users can choose from either 2D or 3D images of the anterior segment, including the crystalline lens. The Eyestar 900 also includes biometry of the entire eye from the cornea to the retina.

The Eidon AF itself boasts high-quality, wide-field, true colour confocal imaging – with added autofluorescence capability. Traditional retinal cameras use a 45-degree view, and may leave some pathology unseen and undocumented. The Eidon AF’s 60-150-degree high-resolution, wide-field view enables the user to image and document more pathologies. It provides three different imaging modalities (true colour, infrared and red-free), a unique confocal view of the retina and dilationfree operation. The device delivers wide-field imaging and the ability to ‘see more’, compared to standard retinal cameras.

Better visual outcomes with trifocal intraocular lens

Alcon, a global player in eye care and a division of Novartis, unveils new data showing significantly improved near and intermediate distance vision with the AcrySof IQ PanOptix intraocular lens (IOL).

AcrySof IQ PanOptix claims to be the first hydrophobic trifocal lens built on Alcon’s proven AcrySof IQ platform. Unlike other leading trifocal IOLs, AcrySof IQ PanOptix has an intermediate focal point at 60 cm, the distance for common intermediate vision activities like using a computer or reading a menu, combined with the excellent rotational and axial stability of the AcrySof single piece design. The design features of the AcrySof platform with the ENLIGHTEN Optical Technology are intended to help patients adapt more naturally to their new lens. The ENLIGHTEN Optical Technology provides an exceptionally high light utilisation (88 per cent) and less pupil dependence than previous generations of multifocal IOLs, Alcon claims. This lens features a comfortable and continuous range of near to intermediate vision without compromising distance vision.

Ready-loaded pupil expander

Diamatrix, an innovator in ophthalmic surgical solutions, unveils its newest device for the management of complicated cataracts. The X1 Ready-Loaded Iris Speculum is quickly becoming the premier tool for use in the management of complicated cataracts stemming from IFIS or dilation limiting factors.

Each X1 Ready-Loaded Iris Speculum is fully-loaded with a XpandNT Iris Speculum during the manufacturing process. The XpandNT is a thin biocompatible Nitinol device that is uniquely flexible and “remembers” its shape through all surgical manipulations.

The XpandNT ring delivers 6.7mm of near circular, mechanical dilation without pinching the iris margin. Additionally, the smarter design allows for easier rotation and a clearer pathway for instruments. Overall, the device is superior to any pupillary expansion device currently on the market.

The X1 Ready-Loaded Iris Speculum is a single-use, sterile device, packaged with 4 devices per box. Additionally, Diamatrix offers optional surgical instrumentation to assist with the intraoperative placement of the device.

Complete diagnosis of the dry eye

Dry eye is a particularly common disease that affects the health and well-being of more than 300 millions of people worldwide. Impacting all ages and occurring after surgical procedures such as Lasik or cataract surgery, Dry Eye is now recognised as a disease and the number of publications about this subject has almost doubled in 10 years.

France-based Quantel Medical launched LacryDiag, a complete diagnostic device for dry eye. LacryDiag is an ocular surface analyser that complies with the dry eye diagnosis recommendations established in the DEWS II report. This device is CE marked and is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It offers a fast and complete analysis of the three tear film layers with 4 non-contact exams:

Interferometry: diagnosis of the lipid layer
N.I.B.U.T.: diagnosis of the mucin layer
Tear meniscus: diagnosis of the aqueous layer
Meibography: diagnosis of the meibomian glands.

Jean-Marc Gendre, CEO Quantel Medical, says, “With LacryDiag, the ophthalmologists are now able to diagnosis in few minutes the three tear film layers to select a personalised treatment for the patient.”

New artificial tear improves vision clarity

Dry eye is often a chronic disease that can be caused by advanced age, contact lens wear, certain medications, eye diseases, other medical conditions or environmental factors. Without enough tears, the film protecting the eye can break down, creating dry spots on the cornea. Allergan plc, a global pharmaceutical company, launched a new over-the-counter (OTC) artificial tear formulation, REFRESH REPAIR Lubricant Eye that is designed to repair and protect the eyes from the harmful effects of dry eye and improve clarity of vision. The artificial tear is formulated with carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), hyaluronic acid (HA, an inactive ingredient), and osmoprotectants.

It offers eye doctors an additional option to tailor therapy to the specific needs of their patients. REFRESH REPAIR provides improved comfort for patients with dry eye and unique osmoprotective benefits that safeguard the health of epithelial cells against hyperosmotic stress.

Advanced imaging of retina and glaucoma

NIDEK Co., Ltd., a global major in the design, manufacturing, and distribution of ophthalmic, optometric, and lens edging equipment, announced the launch of the RS-3000 Advance 2 Optical Coherence Tomography. This premium OCT system incorporates a scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO) and is designed for comprehensive imaging and analysis of the retina and glaucoma.

The RS-3000 Advance 2 retains some of the signature features of the previous model including glaucoma analysis with a 9 x 9 mm wide area normative database, accurate image capture with a SLO based eye tracer, and selectable OCT sensitivity that allows acquisition of B-scan images through media opacities. Enhancements of the RS-3000 Advance 2 include 85,000 A-scans/s, 12 x 12 mm auto panorama imaging of OCT-Angiography, and increased image quality.

The faster scanning speed allows rapid image acquisition, decreasing patient chair time and increasing clinical efficiency. Higher scanning speeds also reduce artefacts due to fixation loss resulting in better image quality. The 12 x 12 mm panorama function allows imaging of peripheral lesions due to retinal pathology from branch retinal vein occlusion and diabetic retinopathy.