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Ocular auto-focusing lenses

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Ocular auto-focusing lenses


The present invention relates to an ocular, variable-focus lens, and in particular, to an ocular, fluid-focussed, accommodating lens having first and second fluids which are in contact over a meniscus of changeable shape, for the restoration or improvement of vision in a patient.

Inventor: Minas Theodore CORONEO
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120290084 - Class: 623 613 (USPTO) - 11/15/12 - Class 623 
Prosthesis (i.e., Artificial Body Members), Parts Thereof, Or Aids And Accessories Therefor > Eye Prosthesis (e.g., Lens Or Corneal Implant, Or Artificial Eye, Etc.) >Intraocular Lens >Having Fluid-filled Chamber

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120290084, Ocular auto-focusing lenses.

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RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is continuation application of application Ser. No. 11/332,088, filed Jan. 13, 2006, which is a non-provisional application of Provisional Application No. 60/644,249, filed Jan. 13, 2005, the entire disclosures of which are expressly incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an ocular, variable-focus lens, and in particular, to an ocular, fluid-focussed, accommodating lens having first and second fluids which are in contact over a meniscus of changeable shape, for the restoration or improvement of vision in a patient.

DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART

Surgery of the crystalline lens has advanced considerably over the last two decades, with considerable research being channeled into methods such as phacoemulsification and other methods for surgical removal of the lens, particularly when it is cataractous.

Intraocular lens replacement surgery has become a widespread procedure, particularly for increasingly common conditions such as cataracts, as well as rarer conditions or situations such as aphakia (e.g. congenital aphakia) and acquired aphakia such as caused by trauma. Even more recently, clear-lens replacement (CLR) procedures, which involve removal of a patient\'s own (clear, non-cataractous) lens and replacement with an artificial lens, have become available as an alternative for patients considering refractive surgery to decrease dependence on contact lenses and eyeglasses, in conditions such as myopia and hypermetropia. Such CLR procedures allow an improved refractive advantage over the patient\'s own lens, however, the patient is subsequently unable to accommodate their vision to close distances unless evolving multifocal or mechanically accommodating intraocular lenses are used.

Accordingly, CLR is best suited for patients over the age of 40 years, and who wear bifocal visual enhancement means (i.e., spectacles or contact lenses). One potential solution to this problem of accommodative loss is implantation of a multifocal intra-ocular lens implant, which works via a series of optical zones that mimic the eye\'s natural ability to provide near, intermediate and distance vision. This implant allows focusing at both near and far distances, thus allowing most patients to read small size print and drive a car without eyeglasses, following implantation of the lens in both eyes. However, the CLR procedure and multifocal intraocular lens implant are expensive, with the multifocal intraocular lens being particularly complicated to manufacture. Furthermore, significant drawbacks of this lens are that approximately 15% of patients experience “halos” surrounding objects in the visual pathway, and 11% have severe difficulty with glare. Hinged, accommodating lenses such as the Crystalens have also been developed and used with varying degrees of success.

Occasionally the crystalline human lens is replaced in cases of acute glaucoma, since the lens grows in size with increasing age and in some patients pushes the iris forward, obstructing the drainage angle of the eye, resulting in elevated intraocular pressure.

Prosthetic intraocular lenses are typically about 6 mm in diameter, and are provided as one-piece, foldable acrylic, silicone or polycast polymethylmethacrylate lenses, which are surgically implanted into the approximately 10 mm-diameter, capsular bag of the lens. The capsular bag is a relatively inert support structure for such lenses, thus allowing long-term implantation of artificial lenses without inflammatory responses. The lenses are centered in the capsular bag by attached, flexible loops known as haptics.

Less severe visual problems (e.g. long- and short-sightedness) can be corrected by way of placement of contact lenses over the anterior corneal surface, or by wearing eyeglasses. Contact lenses are available as extended-wear or disposable soft lenses, which serve as an alternative to the wearing of spectacles. Rigid contact lenses provide an alternative to these softer lenses, and are able to actually correct certain vision defects. Newer technologies include permanently implanted contact lenses, which allow patients to avoid the day-to-day care required with wearing and storage of disposable and extended-wear contact lenses. Patients who choose to wear eyeglasses often experience discomfort from the pressure of the glasses, and other problems, such as fogging of the eyeglasses, can frequently occur.

Contact lenses and eyeglasses also suffer the drawback of having to be replaced when a patient\'s vision alters (e.g. worsens with age).

As such, regardless of the currently available technologies for intraocular lens replacement, eyeglasses and contact lens vision correction, the lenses provided for patients do not provide significant improvements to visual acuity, as they have limited focal length, adjustment and power.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is based on the finding that patients with vision disorders, and in particular, disorders involving the crystalline lens of the eye, can benefit from highly modified lenses originally developed specifically for use in image-capturing devices such as cameras. In particular, these modified lenses for ophthalmic use are variable fluid focus lenses, which have been developed by the present inventor for use in, on or near the eye of the patient, for the restoration or enhancement of the patient\'s vision.

Accordingly, in a first broad form, the present invention relates to a method of treating a vision disorder in a patient, the method comprising the placement of a fluid-focussed, accommodating lens on, in or near an eye of the patient, wherein the lens comprises: a substantially cylindrical fluid chamber having a cylinder wall and an axis, the fluid chamber including a first fluid and an axially displaced second fluid, the fluids being non-miscible, in contact over a meniscus and having different indices of refraction, a fluid contact layer arranged on the inside of the cylinder wall, a first electrode separated from the first fluid and second fluid by the fluid contact layer, a second electrode acting on the second fluid, the fluid contact layer having a wettability by the second fluid which varies under the application of a voltage between the first electrode and the second electrode, such that meniscus shape varies in dependence on the voltage, wherein the wettability of the fluid contact layer by the second fluid is substantially equal on both sides of the intersection of the meniscus with the contact layer when no voltage is applied between the first and second electrodes.

In one embodiment, the fluid-focussed, accommodating lens is placed inside a capsular bag of the eye of the patient.

Preferably, the lens is inserted into the capsular bag through a first aperture made by an incision into the eye.

In a particularly preferred form, the incision into the eye is a corneo-limbal incision.

Preferably, the anterior chamber of the eye is maintained by way of an ophthalmic viscoelastic device (OVD).

In a particularly preferred form, the viscoelastic device is inserted into the anterior chamber of the eye, where it maintains a space inside the anterior chamber, and protects the corneal endothelium.

Also preferably, where the lens is placed in the capsular bag of the eye, an opening is made in the lens capsule.

Preferably, the opening in the lens capsule is a capsulorhexis incision.

Even more preferably, the capsulorhexis incision is 4-6 mm in diameter.

In a further preferred form, the content of the lens capsule is removed by way of a phacoemulsification technique.

In yet another preferred form, the lens is held in place within the capsular bag by way of a securing device.

Preferably, the securing device is at least one haptic.

Also preferably, an OVD viscoelastic substance is injected into the capsular bag, thereby reinflating the capsular bag.

In a further form, the fluid-focussed, accommodating lens is placed on the surface of the patient\'s eye as a contact lens.

In yet a further form, the fluid-focussed, accommodating lens is placed near the patient\'s eye as eyeglasses.

In a particularly preferred form, a range finder is placed in communication with the fluid-focussed, accommodating lens, the range finder controlling the focal length of the lens.

Preferably, the range finder includes at least one component selected from the group comprising a power source and at least one autofocusing sensor.

In a preferred form, the range finder is internal to the eye.

In another preferred form, the range finder is external to the eye.

In yet another preferred form, the range finder has components that are internal and external to the patient\'s eye.

In one form, the range finder is provided by two semicircular structures that attach to a peripheral region of an optical zone of the fluid-focussed, accommodating lens.

Preferably, the first semicircular structure contains the at least one autofocusing sensor.

Even more preferably, the first semicircular structure is located inferiorly of the fluid-focussed, accommodating lens.

In another preferred form, the second semicircular component of the range finder provides the power source, and a control unit, the control unit controlling the amount of electrical current delivered to the fluid-focussed, accommodating lens.

In yet another preferred form, the second semicircular component of the range finder is placed along a superior aspect of the fluid-focussed, accommodating lens, according to an in situ position of the lens.

Preferably, the range finder is inserted post-operatively of the fluid-focussed, accommodating lens.

Even more preferably, the power source of the range finder is a battery.

Preferably, the battery is a long-life battery.



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Prosthesis (i.e., artificial body members), parts thereof, or aids and accessories therefor
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120290084 A1
Publish Date
11/15/2012
Document #
13542553
File Date
07/05/2012
USPTO Class
623/613
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
61F2/16
Drawings
3



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