Technical Brief

Structural Manipulation of Microcone Arrays for Microsurgical Modification of Ophthalmic Tissues

[+] Author and Article Information
B. J. Wing

Department of Materials Science and Engineering,
University of Tennessee,
Knoxville, TN 37996
e-mail: bwing1@utk.edu

D. A. Schaeffer

Energy and Transportation Science Division,
Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
Oak Ridge, TN 37831
e-mail: schaefferda@ornl.gov

T. R. Hendricks

Measurement Science and Systems Engineering Division,
Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
Oak Ridge, TN 37831
e-mail: troy.r.hendricks@jci.com

D. Bennett

Department of Ophthalmology,
University of Tennessee Health Science Center,
Memphis, TN 38163
e-mail: bennettmon@gmail.com

E. Chaum

Department of Ophthalmology,
University of Tennessee Health Science Center,
Memphis, TN 38163
e-mail: echaum@uthsc.edu

J. T. Simpson

Measurement Science and Systems Engineering Division,
Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
Oak Ridge, TN 37831
e-mail: simpsonjts@gmail.com

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 24, 2013; final manuscript received February 5, 2014; published online July 21, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Rosaire Mongrain.

J. Med. Devices 8(3), 034558 (Jul 21, 2014) (4 pages) Paper No: MED-13-1139; doi: 10.1115/1.4026828 History: Received April 24, 2013; Revised February 05, 2014

The purpose of this study was to utilize controllable fiber-drawing techniques in order to fabricate glass microcone arrays for use in office-based optical surgery instruments. The cone spacing is controlled via the drawing process while an etching process controls the cone height-to-base ratio. The device viability was tested by imprinting, and subsequent staining, of low-density polyethylene and porcine corneas, resulting in a consistent patterned structure of micron-sized perforations. After imprint, the device was examined and no evidence of microcone fracture or overpenetration was present during the course of these experiments. This research promises to lead to advances in optical surgery for the treatment of recurrent corneal erosions, providing quicker, safer, and more cost-effective procedures with decreased risk of vision loss and scarring associated with current procedures such as anterior stromal puncture. The ease of procedure and micron-sized incisions could potentially replace current techniques and provide a viable treatment alternative for recurrent corneal erosions in the visual axis.

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Fig. 1

Fabrication process for microcone glass array. (a) A preform made with a glass rod and several tubes of different compositions is drawn into fiber and cut into segments, (b) bundled with a hexagonal clamp, and drawn again. (c) Double-drawn fibers are bundled in a thin-walled tube that is fused into a solid rod. The rod is (d) sliced, polished, and (e) etched in a hydrofluoric acid solution to form the microcones.

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Fig. 2

SEM image showing the dimensions of the microcone array etched with an HF concentration of 5:4. The microcones have an aspect ratio of 3:1.

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Fig. 3

SEM image showing periodic microcone spacing. The array has a lattice constant of approximately 100 μm.

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Fig. 4

Imprint of the microcone array on (a) low-density polyethylene (b) and porcine cornea using India ink. Inset shows the imprinted cornea at higher magnification.

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Fig. 5

Micrograph showing the epithelial healing on a porcine cornea following imprinting using the microcone array. (a) Focal imprint after removal of the epithelial. Note the focal adhesion created upon regrowth of the epithelium, with (b) minimal stromal scarring evident (circled).



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