An intraocular lens (IOL) is a synthetic, artificial lens that is placed inside a patient’s eye, most typically after cataract surgery. When the patient’s natural lens is removed due to disease, the eye’s ability to refocus is lost. IOLs are most commonly made from Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), silicone, acrylic, and other soft materials that enable them to be easily folded and inserted into the eye. During surgery, it is imperative that IOLs do not rip or tear, as even the smallest tear can be very uncomfortable for the patient. Some of the biggest challenges with testing IOLs are simulating the folding behavior experienced during surgery, and gripping these small, dime-sized, devices.
For testing IOLs, we recommend using the TestProfiler module to conduct a simple cyclic test that puts the IOL in both tension and compression. For test systems, we recommend using a 5942 or 5943 system, fiber grips, and a low force load cell, such as a 10 N load cell. In addition, we recommend using Bluehill® Universal’s TestCam feature paired with a USB microscope, which enables users to magnify their test specimen, record the test, and playback the footage post-test. Using a USB microscope with at least 10x helps the user detect any small sized tears that may not be visible with the naked eye.