Published on July 5, 2021

AHMEDABAD: A city-based couple along with their colleagues were granted a patent for their forceps for iris claw lenses by the Patent Office of the Government of India on July 2. The innovation will help eye surgeons during complicated cataract surgeries.

The patent has been granted to Dr Deepika Singhal, her husband Dr Deepak Saxena, Nazli Khatib and Shilpa Gaidhane.The researchers said that the intraocular lens (IOL) implant is one of the most common eye surgeries. But in the cases where the patients don’t have back support due to aphakia (absence of lens in the eye), it becomes difficult for the surgeon.

“In such cases, the surgeons use the iris claw lens, which has an advantage — it can be fixated to the iris without sutures because the peripheral iris is incarcerated between the claws,” said Dr Singhal, professor and head of ophthalmology, GMERS Sola.

The process requires a lot of manoeuvrers with ophthalmic forceps. The forceps used currently posed some challenges in holding the lens and fixing it appropriately.

Thus, the team at the department of ophthalmology, GMERS Sola, started working on a design better suited for the purpose. Their aim was to develop an instrument that can lead to minimum damage and ease of the process of surgery with better outcomes.

They also got support from the Innovation Centre at Dutta Meghe Institute of Medical Science. The design was further calibrated at a firm in Gandhinagar whereas IIPH-G, where Dr Saxena is a professor, helped design the protocols.

“We followed the testing procedure in 50 patients who underwent surgery with this forceps. The results were observed independently,” said Dr Aneri Shah from the department of ophthalmology at GMERS Sola. “After ensuring the success and taking suggestions from colleagues at various ophthalmic institutions, the instrument was formally submitted for patent.”

The team has also applied for an international patent.

The department has already won NEWGEN grant and is currently developing innovative technology solutions for keratoconus. The department officials said that another faculty member, Dr Vaishali Prajapati, is working closely with a Japan-based university and M&J Institute of Ophthalmology for the management of amblyopia (lazy eye or abnormal visual development).

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