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Surgical Tool for Sub-retinal Tissue Implantation

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Researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) developed a surgical tool to place tissue into position in the retina. The NEI seeks co-development or licensing to commercialize a prototype already in pre-manufacturing. Alternative uses will be considered.
NIH Reference Number
Product Type
  • intra-ocular, surgical tool, tissue placement retina, sub-retinal, eye, National Eye Institute, NEI, Maminishkis
Collaboration Opportunity
This invention is available for licensing.
Description of Technology

The accurate placement of transplanted tissue at a precise position in the retina is difficult but critical for a successful implementation of an ocular surgical intervention. 

Researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) developed a surgical tool (see image below) designed to place tissue patches, such as sheets of tissue, onto the retina in a precise and controlled fashion. The tissue for transplantation remains enshrouded in an internal channel until it is accurately delivered to the site of transplant by fluid pressure from a hydrostatic pump.  The curved design of the tool matches the curvature of the human eye, and the ease of operation minimizes surgical damage to the eye during placement of the tissue. The secure and precise operation of the tool and delivery of the tissue to the transplantation site maximizes the therapeutic effectiveness. The researchers demonstrated that this tool can be used, with or without modification, to deliver small implantable devices into the retina. 

This tool is manufactured as a disposable prototype. It is available for licensing and the NEI is open to discussion on potential additional uses of the tool. For example, it is currently being used for autologous iPSC tissue transplant, and can be licensed for this field of use.

 A handheld surgical device/tool designed for intra-ocular delivery and placement of single layer transplant retina tissue to the retina or sub retina.  The device is an improvement over similar device as its curved design that matches the curvature of the human eye, making it easier operate and minimizes damage to the eye during placement.  

Potential Commercial Applications

• Ocular tissue transplantation;
• Delivery of small devices or extended release drug pellets into sub-retinal space

Competitive Advantages

• Precision of operation for surgeon (no extra moving parts) 
• Tool consists of separate disposable parts 
• Ease of operation, controlled delivery 
• Minimized damage to the eye and transplanted tissue 
• Only tool available that can deliver tissue into the sub-retinal space


Arvydas Maminishkis (NEI)

Development Stage
Patent Status
  • Foreign Filed: Published - Patent Application WO 2016/007852
  • U.S. Provisional: U.S. Provisional Patent Application Number USPTO 62/023,289
Therapeutic Area
Thursday, July 19, 2018