Nanotechnology-enabled defense against blindness from glaucoma
Open-angle glaucoma (OAG) is the second leading cause of blindness in the world and leads to vision loss that cannot be cured or reversed. By 2020, OAG will affect 3.4 million people in the U.S. and 80 million people globally. In OAG patients, excess fluid builds up inside the eye, putting pressure on and permanently damaging the optic nerve. VisiPlate is a nanoscale drainage implant that creates a new outflow pathway for aqueous humor in the eye. Excess fluid flows through VisiPlate and is slowly absorbed into surrounding tissue over time, alleviating pressure on the optic nerve. Leveraging a novel metamaterial nanotechnology developed at the University of Pennsylvania, VisiPlate is 10-1000x thinner than competitor devices. With this uniquely thin profile and a novel mechanism of action, VisiPlate achieves greater efficacy, safety, and cost savings for patients and stakeholders.