Primoceler has developed a glass package for retinal implants in cooperation with NanoRetina in order to restore sight to the blind.
Primoceler’s proprietary glass packaging for medical implants is an innovation decades in the making. For 40 years, titanium and ceramics packaging have been the standard for medical implants, but the materials have some limits, particularly when it comes to optical transparency and transferring data to and from the implants. Additionally, many people have allergies associated with titanium, which sometimes are not noticed until a device is implanted.
Primoceler’s all-glass hermetic packaging, in contrast, offers full optical and radio frequency transparency, which allows the NanoRetina implant to wirelessly recharge and reprogram a patient’s retinal implant as well as store and transmit data to the patient’s physicians to allow fine-tuning of the device. Primoceler also offers no-heat, high-precision glass micro bonding. This allows medical implants like the NanoRetina implant to be made smaller than ever before.
All of those properties were crucial for the NanoRetina implant, which uses a miniature chip to effectively create an artificial retina that works synergistically with the patient’s own natural optics, delivering electrical stimulation directly to the remaining healthy retinal tissue. It is a viable solution to degenerative retinal disease, which affects 34 million people in Europe alone, and estimated to grow 25% in coming years. The NanoRetina implant allows the blind to once again see—thanks in no small part to the advanced glass packaging encapsulating the implant.
“Our glass packaging for medical implants is one more example of how glass micro bonding can change the world for good,” Primoceler CEO Ville Hevonkorpi said in a company news release. “We are not only excited about this project, we’re also proud of it.”
At the heart of the new glass packaging is Primoceler’s patented heat-free, Glass Micro Bonding that creates a hermetic seal to protect both the patient and the implant’s components. Because neither heat nor adhesives are used to create the bond, Primoceler glass packaging can be made much smaller than titanium packaging—yet, like their titanium predecessors, medical implants encapsulated in glass are completely biocompatible. That unique combination of size, optical transparency and biocompatibility opens up a world of possibilities in the field of medical implants.
“More glass-packaged medical implants will soon be available to improve patients’ quality of life in a variety of situations,” Mr. Hevonkorpi said. “As that happens, we can expect to see market attitudes shift regarding titanium and ceramics. Glass encapsulation is the next revolution in medical implant packaging.”