An Innovative Implant for Treating Glaucoma

The Invention

The Glaucoma Implant is a new shunt that eliminates the complications created by devices currently in use and it may eliminate the need for repeat surgeries. It is small in size, easy to implant and thus causes less discomfort for the patient and results in faster recovery time. For hospitals and HMOs, this means less OR time and more efficient use of resources. As the procedure is simple and with potentially fewer complications, the innovative Glaucoma Implant could also be used in less severe refractive cases and consequently benefit patients in the early stages of the disease.

Potential Applications

Shunt implants for the drainage of excess intraocular fluid in a variety of pathologies associated with development of pressure within the eye.

The Need

The new implant is a mushroom-shaped shunt for the drainage of excess intraocular fluid. The novel features of this implant are its size, material, and unique design that eliminate typical complications. The device is useful for the treatment of any situation of high intra ocular pressure (IOP).

In the advanced surgical procedure for the treatment of this disease, valves are typically implanted under the conjunctiva whereby the intraocular fluid is drained into the sub-conjunctiva space. Frequently there are many complications to this procedure such as diplopia, inflammation, and obstruction of the tube. Often the “filtering surgery” fails due to resulting scar tissue. All of these complications are attributed to the different treatments currently used.

The new implant was carefully designed to eliminate the causes of the typical complications.  The implant is a two-part device that features a mushroom-shaped head at the proximal end of the drainage tube, and a flange at the distal end of the tube.

Advantages

  • Made from a long-term biocompatible polymeric material, proven in use in other human implants.
  • Does not activate the immunoresponse of the body.
  • Material prevents body proteins from adhering to the shunt thus eliminating obstructions.
  • Design of the head of the shunt prevents scar tissue from closing the apertures of the main drainage tube.
  • Small openings allow for continuous fluid drainage via the drainage tube (this tube is introduced into the anterior chamber of the eye).
  • Flange at the distal end of  tube prevents self-explantation.
  • Shunt can be optimized for the patient’s condition according to the intraocular pressure of any specific patient.

Stage of Development

The first prototypes of the shunt were implanted in glaucoma rabbit models.  The result was a long term reduction of intra-ocular pressure to a normal or near normal state with no complications.

Patent

Issued: IL; US