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ULTRASOUND IN VITRECTOMY: An Alternative Approach to Traditional Vitrectomy Techniques

Rizzo, Stanislao, MD*; Fantoni, Gualtiero, PhD†,‡,§; Mucciolo, Dario Pasquale, MD*; Giorni, Andrea, MD*; Volpi, Lorenzo, M.Eng; Pierallini, Michele, M.Eng; Mazzoni, Andrea, M.Eng§; Faraldi, Francesco, MD

doi: 10.1097/IAE.0000000000002354
Original Study: PDF Only

Purpose: To study a prototype of an ultrasound-based vitrector, and to try to understand the physical phenomena underlying this new technology.

Methods: We tested the ultrasound-based vitrector prototype (UV) (ultrasonically-driven handpiece obtained from a modified version of the Alcon CONSTELLATION Vision System [Alcon]) using an automatic experimental setup. Balanced saline solution (BSS) and vitreous (from fresh postmortem enucleated porcine eyes) flow rates were analyzed using three different tips.

Results: In general, BSS solution flow rates increased with increasing aspiration levels and decreased when we used % US power. Vitreous flow rates were influenced by aspiration levels, % US power, and ultrasound-related phenomena: cavitation phenomenon and “jet streaming.”

Conclusion: Ultrasound-based vitrectomy may represent an important alternative to traditional vitrectomy. Such a tool, capable of liquefying and excising the vitreous body using ultrasound, could overcome all the limits of the guillotine-based technique (GV). Knowledge of the physical phenomena underlying ultrasound-based technology is a necessary prerequisite for further development of this new technology.

Ultrasound-based vitrectomy may represent an important alternative to traditional vitrectomy. Such a tool, capable of liquefying and excising the vitreous body using ultrasound, could overcome all the limits of the guillotine-based technique. Knowledge of the physical phenomena underlying ultrasound-based technology is a necessary prerequisite for further development of this technology.

*Department of Surgery and Translational Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy;

Department of Civil and Industrial, Engineering University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy;

Centro E. Piaggio, Engineering University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy;

§Erre Quadro s.r.l., Pisa, Italy; and

Ospedale Oftalmico di Torino, Turin, Italy.

Reprint requests: Dario Pasquale Mucciolo, Department of Surgery and Translational Medicine, Eye Clinic University of Florence, Largo Brambilla 3, 50134 Florence, Italy; e-mail: dario.mucciolo@gmail.com

Supported by grants from Alcon (US).

None of the authors has any financial/conflicting interests to disclose.

© 2018 by Ophthalmic Communications Society, Inc.