FemtoPrint, a Swiss company specialising in microtechnology, has won the 2019 Exhibitors’ Grand Prix at the EPHJ event.
The young Ticino company impressed the judges with its “SPOT-RVC”, which has been described as a “real innovation in the medical technology market and a beacon of hope for the 16 million people worldwide with retinal vein occlusion”.
The Safe Puncture Optimized Tool (SPOT), designed by FemtoPrint, aims to safely inject a drug that dissolves clots in the retinal veins without harming tissue, thanks to a new high-precision miniaturised medical tool.
FemtoPrint developed this medical tool with support from the Swiss innovation agency Innosuisse and in partnership with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne and Hôpital ophtalmique Jules-Gonin in Lausanne. Two patent applications have been made in relation to the new instrument.
In ophthalmology, retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is a vascular disorder caused by blood vessels forming on the retina, which then limit oxygen supply. This leads to sudden and severe loss of vision. RVO affects more than 16 million people worldwide.
The standard treatment options for RVO are not completely satisfactory, according to observers and experts. Most of the issues relate to the fragility and size of the veins, the long injection period and the precise movements required.
FemtoPrint’s proponents say its SPOT-RVC has “all the qualities needed to make up for these imperfections”.
The initial prototypes are currently being validated in vivo. They are posting a 100 per cent success rate for safe, controlled piercing, microfluidics functioning and activating the mechanical system.
This is the second time since 2015 that FemtoPrint, the company led by Nicoletta Casanova (main picture, courtesy TheWatches.tv), has won the Exhibitors’ Grand Prix.