The world’s first fluid-based accommodating intraocular lens has great potential to improve quality of vision for people with presbyopia or significant refractive error, according to Brisbane ophthalmologist Dr. Andrew Apel.
The novel fluid-controlled accommodating intraocular lens, developed by US based PowerVision, contains fluid inside the lens that moves in response to the natural muscle forces in the eye. The FluidVision lens provides true accommodation by mimicking the eye’s natural accommodative process, becoming thicker when the patient needs to see up close or thinner when he or she needs to see far away. This results in a shape change of the lens that the company claims creates an accommodative range equivalent to the vision of a 35-year-old.
Dr. Apel expects the lens to provide superior vision when compared with pseudo lenses and refractive multi-focal lenses.
“A lens that can accommodate using the intraocular muscle, ancillary muscle and the capsular bag is getting pretty close to what the eye does naturally – the range of accommodation would be increased over the pseudo lenses and refractive multifocal lenses , and so the quality of vision should be better,” he said. Additionally he noted “the implant is done through a small opening, which will minimally change the corneal astigmatism as a result of the surgery”.
Prof. Gerd U. Auffarth, Principal Investigator, said results from an early pilot study of the lens were encouraging.
“As we age, the natural lens begins to stiffen and loses its ability to change shape which makes it more difficult to read and focus at near. As a result, millions of adults over age 50 require glasses for reading and near work. Also, millions more patients have cataracts, which further impairs their vision,” he said.
“Current treatment options that restore both near and far vision are limited… we believe patients will benefit significantly from this lens which has the potential to restore the eye’s ability to focus clearly on objects near, far and in between.”
The lens has been implanted in 10 patients at three eye centres in South Africa as part of a multi-centre clinical study that will assess its performance in cataract patients.
Four sites in Germany are also participating in the study and more patients will be enrolled later in 2014. A total of 115 cataract patients will participate in the study, which will form the basis for PowerVision’s CE marking of the FluidVision lens in the European Union. This is expected to occur sometime next year.