Glaucoma is a common ocular disease that is mainly due to an increase of the pressure inside the eye. Intraocular pressure is the result of a balance between the production and elimination of liquid that fills the anterior part of eye (aqueous humor). All treatments for glaucoma aim to reduce the intraocular pressure, and can therefore have two mechanisms of action: reducing aqueous humor production by the partial destruction or medical inhibition of the ciliary body (the anatomical structure that is responsible for the production of aqueous humor) or facilitating the evacuation of aqueous humor out of the eye. Several physical methods can be used to destroy the ciliary body, for example laser, cryotherapy, microwave. However, all these methods have two major drawbacks which limit their use: they are non-selective of the organ to be treated, often resulting in damage to the adjacent structures, and they have an unpredictable dose-effect relationship, which prevents accurate prediction of the treatment effect. Taking advantage of recent breakthroughs in the field of HIFU technology, high-frequency miniaturized transducers were recently integrated into a small device with a circular design, adapted to the geometry of the ciliary body. This design allows this new device to be placed directly against the eye, thus enabling a one-step, quick, and reproducible treatment. Animal experiments have shown selective coagulation necrosis of the treated ciliary body. The first clinical trial in humans showed that this method was well tolerated and allowed a significant, predictable and sustained reduction in intraocular pressure.
This project initiated in 2008 is a collaboration between EyeTechCare and LabTau.
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