Sharklet uses micropattern alone to control cell migration, eliminating the need for costly follow-up procedures after IOL placement.

Cataract surgery commonly results in clouding of the new lens. This effect, known as posterior capsular opacification (PCO), is cause by epithelial cells migrating onto the newly implanted lens. A laser capsulotomy surgery can remove these cells, but is a costly procedure and not widely available around the world. PCO occurs in 50% of cataract surgeries.

PCO is the most common complication of cataract surgery. Currently, the most effective treatment to correct PCO is laser capsulotomy. Almost 600,000 of these procedures cost Medicare $281,000,000 in 2012. A Sharklet patterned IOL would eliminate most of these extra procedures, reducing costs dramatically. The equipment to perform laser capsulotomy is prohibitively expensive, leading to patients in third world countries without any viable treatment for PCO.

An IOL with an incorporated Sharklet membrane will eliminate the need for this specific procedure, while giving better vision prognoses to patients all around the world. Sharklet uses no chemicals or anti-cell agents and limits cell migration through structure alone.

To accommodate the round IOL, a special Sharklet checkerboard pattern was designed to inhibit cell migration in all directions.

Images from a migration assay. The Sharklet pattern (right) showed 80% less cell migration in a modified scratch-wound assay versus a smooth control surface (left).

Images from an animal study using Sharklet patterned IOL membranes. Sharklet membranes (right) resulted in a 100% reduction of visually significant PCO and reduced all PCO outcomes by 70%.

To learn more about our groundbreaking research to improve IOLs, check out the articles below.

Micropatterned Protective Membranes Inhibit Lens Epithelial Cell Migration in Posterior Capsule Opacification Model (2015)

During development of the ClearSight IOL, Sharklet researched the effect that micropatterned surfaces have on epithelial cells. After surgery to remove cataracts, an intraocular lens is inserted into the eye. Epithelial cells migrate onto the new lens, resulting in posterior capsule opacification (PCO). A followup surgery uses a laser to remove these migrated cells. The ClearSight IOL would feature a protective ring of Sharklet to prevent the cellular migration and negate the need for the laser procedure. Read More