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Abstract

Glaucoma drainage devices are implanted in the eye to treat glaucoma, a disease that can cause vision loss and blindness. These devices are designed to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP), a major risk factor for the progression of glaucoma, by providing an alternative outflow path for the fluid produced by the eye, the aqueous humor. Here, a novel polymeric minimally invasive glaucoma implant designed to enhance aqueous humor outflow is demonstrated. The implant is made of a unique, potentially biodegradable thermoplastic material, polycarbonate bisamide (PC-BA), and produced through replica molding using hot embossing and femtosecond laser-machined glass molds. Post-mortem experiments demonstrate successful device implantation into a rabbit's eye, with the implant remaining securely in place. Although the mass loss and changes in molecular weight observed in the in vitro degradation experiments are not significant within the tested times and degradation conditions, the PC-BA is a slow-degradation polymer that may take a few years to fully degrade. Thus, the implant will also slowly degrade and be absorbed by the body over time, leaving behind a natural outflow pathway. This potentially biodegradable glaucoma implant may represent a promising new approach for restoring outflow in a more natural way.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2301686
Number of pages10
JournalAdvanced Materials Technologies
Volume9
Issue number9
Early online date26 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2024

Funding

This research was financially supported by the Chemelot Institute for Science & Technology (InSciTe) under grant agreement BM3.03 SEAMS, and by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science for the Gravitation Program Interactive Polymer Materials (024.005.020). The authors thank Phani Sudarsanam for helping with the in vitro cytotoxicity experiments. The authors are also very grateful to the Equipment and Prototype Center (EPC) team at the Eindhoven University of Technology, Erwin Dekkers, Gerrit Fimerius, and Mariëlle Dirks Smit, for making the cutting tool used in the fabrication process of the implant.

FundersFunder number
Chemelot Institute for Science and Technology (InSciTe)BM3.03
Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science for the Gravitation Program Interactive Polymer Materials024.005.020

    Keywords

    • glaucoma implant
    • microfabrication
    • minimally invasive
    • polycarbonate bisamide

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