NextTear is a lacrimal bypass stent consisting of an interior hourglass shape and a surface pattern of protruding rings situated around the outer surface. The stent is made out of Pyrex Glass to optimize tear drainage through capillary action.
The lacrimal drainage system is responsible for directing tears from the eye into the nose. Obstructions within this system, specifically the canaliculi, prevent adequate tear drainage leading to a condition known as epiphora, or excessive eye-watering. Severe canalicular obstruction requires surgical correction through a conjunctivodacryocystorhinostomy (CDCR) procedure, where the dysfunctional lacrimal duct is bypassed by creating an alternative pathway between the eye and the nasal cavity. A permanent stent implant consisting of a glass tube creates a new drainage system. Current devices suffer drawbacks that limit the effectiveness of the stent. These tubes often employ a smooth outer surface which offers little resistance to migration events. Additionally, the tubes create a two-way opening from the eye to the nose which allows for the reflux of air and mucus. This mechanism restricts the use of medical devices such as CPAP machines used in the treatment of sleep apnea. The NextTear is a novel lacrimal bypass stent consisting of four features: a tube body, flange, protruding ring surface pattern, and internal hourglass shape. All features are formed from Pyrex glass to create a solid body of a single material. The surface pattern consists of a series of protruding rings situated around the outer surface. The rings are formed in such a way as to allow for tissue growth within the hollowed center. This unique pattern produces 20 times more maximum frictional force compared to current devices to minimize migration. The interior of the tube consists of two conical structures that meet at a midpoint in the tube. This is designed to allow for the drainage of tears while limiting the reflux of air by 34%. The unique internal and external features of this device offer improved performance and compatibility with other medical devices, leading to higher patient satisfaction and increased market opportunity.