Future Tense

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Technology: EndoSaver™ Corneal Endothelium Delivery Instrument

Manufacturer: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Ocular Systems Inc., and Cathtek LLC

Purpose: Placing healthy cornea tissue from a donor into a patient's eye

How it works: During a corneal transplant, surgeons replace the diseased innermost layer of the cornea with healthy cornea tissue. With this surgical device, the donor's endothelial tissue layer is rolled up and placed inside a spoon-shaped protective casing. The device, a little bigger than a ballpoint pen, is then used to insert the tissue into the patient's eye through a 4 mm incision. Surgeons remove the protective casing by turning a knob, while continuous irrigation prevents collapse of the anterior chamber as the tissue layer unrolls itself into position.

Potential improvement: The new surgical device uses a smaller incision and safely transfers the donor tissue without creasing or crushing the endothelial cells, which results in fewer sutures, quicker recovery, and less problems with postoperative astigmatism.

What's Next: The surgical device is currently in clinical trials and has been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval.

Carrie Vaughan

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