Researchers have developed a method and apparatus for a sutureless injectable retinal detachment sponge that can be placed in a pocket beneath the surface of the sclera.
The retina is a thin nerve membrane that detects light entering the eye. Retinal detachment can occur when the two layers of the retina, the sensory retina and the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), become separated from each other and from the wall of the eye. Retinal detachment can lead to severe vision loss or blindness. Although retinal detachment can occur at any age, it is most common in older adults. Retinal detachment surgery involves a method of closing breaks, bringing the two layers of the retina back together, and getting rid of fluid under the retina. There are various common methods of repairing a retinal detachment including sclera buckling surgery, which is the most common method. Sclera buckling may pose some risks or complications. The eye may become infected. The suture may promote infection and increase the healing time and may be a source of irritation. The plastic or rubber of the buckling device may rub on other parts of the eye, become worn, move out of place, or become a site of infection. A better method is needed that addresses the potential problems caused by exterior sutures, the irritation and potential infection, and the risk of suturing a sponge or budding in place.
The potential benefits of this technology include:
- Minimize the risk of infection
- Minimize healing time
- Minimize irritation
- Minimize complications with the buckling device
- Minimize problems caused by exterior sutures
- Minimize the risk of suturing a sponge or budding in place
This technology has potential application for retinal detachment surgery.