Implantable Telescope Technology

Restoring Vision with Novel Telescope Devices

The Implantable Miniature Telescope (IMT) is FDA approved in the United States and has a CE Mark for the European Union and the United Kingdom, and a therapeutic goods certificate from Australia. Samsara Vision’s new generation SING IMT received a CE mark for the European Union in 2020 (SING IMT is not currently FDA approved).

SING-IMT is the brand name for the Tsert SI (TM) system, model NG SI IMT 3X. This  is  the NG SI IMT 3X  implantable device packaged with the Tsert SI delivery system. The Implantable Miniature Telescope is referred to as "the IMT (by Dr. Isaac Lipshitz)" or as "the Implantable Miniature Telescope (by Dr. Isaac Lipshitz)."

Taking Galileo to the 21st Century

Samsara Vision’s expertise in ultra-precision micro-optics and machining allows us to make miniaturized telescopes that can be placed safely in eye by an ophthalmic surgeon. Based on the principles of the seventeenth century Italian physicist Galileo Galilei, the telescope technology platform employs first-of-kind bi-convex and bi-concave convergent and divergent micro-lenses, coupled with air lenses, to create a magnified image onto healthy retinal tissue surrounding the degenerated macula. The telescopic device , along with the cornea, enlarges images in front of the eye approximately 2.2 or 2.7 times their normal size (depending on the model used).

The magnification helps these more peripheral parts of the retina ‘see’ the image viewed in straight-ahead vision by reducing the apparent impact of the blind spot. (The blind spot does not go away, but it appears smaller to the patient due to magnification.) Clinical research trials have demonstrated that the majority of suitable patients with Late-Stage AMD enjoy clinically significant improvements in visual acuity and visual function with Samsara Vision’s micro-sized, 3.6mm diameter telescope implant. Our research will continue to push the technology envelope on high-performance micro-optical design and manufacturing to help even more people with severe vision disorders.

IMT Components

  • The IMT prosthetic device includes three primary components: a fused silica glass capsule that contains wide-angle micro-optical elements; a clear polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) carrier; and a blue PMMA light restrictor which prevents peripheral light from entering into the eye.
  • The sealed optical component is snap-fitted into the carrier plate.
  • All materials are biocompatible for long-term ocular implantation per international standards and one of the internal pieces that is not in contact with body fluids or tissue, but contains stainless steel, has been evaluated for MRI compatibility and determined to be MR-Conditional.

Procedural Overview

  • In an outpatient procedure, the IMT is surgically placed in the capsular bag of one eye only after removal of the eye’s lens. Implantation inside the eye allows the patient to see using natural eye movements in both stationary and dynamic environments. 
  • The magnification projects images seen “straight-ahead” onto healthy perimacular areas of the retina instead of the macula alone, where AMD caused a breakdown of photoreceptors and loss of vision. The nominal field of view of 20° is projected onto approximately 54° of the retina, effectively reducing the impact of the central scotoma (blind spot) in central vision. 
  • After the out-patient procedure, patients work with  occupational therapists and practice using exercises designed by a low-vision specialist, to learn to distinguish and discern images that may have been unrecognizable or difficult to see in their straight-ahead vision, previously. Many patients learn to recognize the faces of friends and family, and can resume watching TV, reading or other activities that require detailed, straight-ahead vision.

Resuming the ability to drive is not an expected outcome for patients.

Presently, the Samsara Vision IMT is indicated for monocular (one-eye) implantation to improve vision in eyes of patients at least 65 years of age with severe to profound vision impairment caused by bilateral central scotomas (scars) associated with end-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Patients with end-stage AMD who have undergone bilateral cataract removal and intraocular lens placement are contraindicated for telescope surgery.

Are you a patient or caregiver? Click HERE to learn more about AMD or HERE to learn more about what to expect from the IMT.

Are you a health care provider? Click HERE to learn more about the IMT and Samara Vision Patient Journey.

Click HERE for IMPORTANT SAFETY.

Learn more about new technology coming soon

Behind the Lens of Telescope Implants

The IMT is housed in a prosthetic device composed of three primary components: a glass capsule that contains wide-angle micro-optical elements; a clear polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) carrier; and a blue PMMA light restrictor. The sealed optical component is snap-fitted into the carrier plate.

About Implantable Telescope Components

Video Perspective: Dr. Sam Garg, M.D., on the IMT’s Potential Profound Impact on Patients

Dr. Sam Garg, M.D., on the IMT’s Potential Profound Impact on Patients