The idea for a presbyopic allogenic inlay is not new. Rather, it was introduced by José Barraquer, MD, in 1949 through his experiments with epikeraotphakia/keratophakia. However, its development was impeded by predictability and economic issues.
Recent technological developments are making allogenic corneal inlays much more viable.
“Advancees in laser technology allow for more accurate ways to sculpt the donor tissue and there have also been developments in tissue banking procedures that improve the availability viability of donor corneal tissue,” Dr. Crewe-Brown said.
The sources for allogenic corneal inlays that are being explored include the lenticule removed during a SMILE procedure and donor cornea obtained from tissue banks. Soosan Jacob, MD, Agarwal’s Eye Hospital, Chennai, India, is developing use of the SMILE lenticule in a procedure known as PEARL (PrEsbyopic Allogenic Refractive Lenticule).
Also in this area, Allotex, a startup company established in 2014, is developing human corneal allograft inlays and onlays. Dr. Crewe-Brown quoted Vance Thompson, MD, who has been involved in the project as saying he is excited about the Allotex allograft tissue, which combines learnings from decades of corneal inlay research and technology development with the pristine biocompatibility of human collagen.
“Dr. Thompson is a very experienced and respected colleague in this field, and he sees a great future in the allograft inlay,” Dr. Crewe-Brown said.