Implantable Eye Telescope Receives FDA Approval

Article excerpt

An optical implant designed to improve central visual field losses caused by end-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD) recently received approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is now cleared for use in members of the general public. The Implantable Miniature Telescope (IMT), created by Isaac Lipshitz, M.D., and manufactured by the company he founded, VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies of Saratoga, California, is a system designed to magnify images and project them onto a part of a patient's retina that is healthy and can still see. In a 219-patient clinical study of the device, 90% of patients achieved at least a two-line gain in their distance or best-corrected visual acuity, and 75% of patients improved their level of vision from severe or profound impairment to moderate impairment.

Measuring just 3.6 millimeters (or 0.14 inches) in diameter, the device consists of a sealed glass capsule that contains micro lenses confined within air pockets to create a magnified image on the retina. The IMT is surgically implanted in one eye only (the other is used for peripheral vision) in an outpatient procedure. …