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Micro Implants for the Ophthalmic and Intraocular Sectors

5/25/16    Micro manufacturing has played and continues to plan a significant role in the worldwide growth of ophthalmic devices.  The enabling component is usually the smallest component in a medical or pharmaceutical implant or device.  This is due to the discomfort of something large being put into the eye. When it comes to our eyes, the smaller the device the better.
Age related eye diseases such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular continue to cause loss of vision either significantly or completely. Ophthalmic and intraocular implants are largely made up of many micro sized and highly precise components and assemblies.
CONDITIONS AND TREATMENT: The eye is a complex and sensitive organ.  There are many structures and targets, located closely together and sometimes, in terms of target for treatment, these structures are conflicting one another in their proximity.  Existing in the eye are significant defense mechanisms, such as the tear film and the cornea, that present challenges for medication to enter.  Specifically, the vitreous fluid is difficult for injected medication to traverse to reach the posterior of eye.

micro eye

Anatomy of Human Eye, Photo credit- MasterEyeAssociates.com

A number of CONDITIONS of varying seriousness and interest
1. Glaucoma
2. Cataracts
3. Diabetic retinopathy
4. Age-related macular degeneration
5. Dry eye syndrome
6. Uveitis
7. Retinal detachment
8. Advanced Age & Lifestyle Diseases; still an extremely high level of unmet need
9. Other (Of lesser importance can be treated / managed with eye glasses, OTC medication, antibiotics, and specific hygiene protocols and, in limited instances, with surgery)
TREATMENT often requires contributions from two or more parts of an inseparable therapeutic triad
• Ophthalmic pharmacology
• Surgery of the visual tract
• Implantable ophthalmic medical devices
Highly innovative specialty companies define and epitomize the requirement for treatments of these conditions with micro sized and ultra-precision components and assemblies.  Anyone who has ever worn corrective contacts and/or been on the bad end of a windy day near an outdoor fire pit, you have probably noticed that the smallest speck in your eye can cause you severe pain.  The reasons for intraocular implants being micro-sized then are to provide the eye an extreme level of comfort with the least invasive, yet compliant implants in the human body.  The thin and delicate structures of the eye require paper thin and flexible components that are nonetheless strong enough to withstand extreme fluid pressures in and behind the eye. The successful creation of a device that is both paper thin and strong is an engineering challenge that requires the skill and expertise that only micro molding and nano surface specialty companies can understand and implement.
Micro Engineering has been on the forefront of this developing technology and continues to be a leader in this field. For examples of our projects please refer to our parts pages.