Medical Devices That Save Lives – Enhancing Intraocular Lenses (IOL’s)

in May 04, 2021

IOL and cartridge being held by tweezers

On November 29, 1949, Harold Ridley implanted the first intraocular lens (IOL),1 thus also inventing cataract surgery and pioneering the way for future ophthalmologists!  Although first ridiculed by his colleagues about his invention, it later paved the road for ophthalmologic innovations and advancements.

In the world of senses, our vision is one of the most coveted. Our sight allows us to see expressions, like happiness on the faces of our children, experiencing history by touring buildings designed with fascinating artwork by the greats, like Michelangelo and Di Vinci – and even the smallest things that bring the world to life, like color. Sometimes we take our vision for granted. We wake up, open our eyes and it is just there – the ability to see, without worry that someday our sight could disappear. But what about the people who do not have these luxuries? Although some individuals are born blind, others lose sight along the way.  For those who can benefit, cataract surgery may be the answer.
The main causes of cataracts are aging, genetics, trauma, smoking and alcohol – along with various diseases. Globally the number of people that are visually impaired is estimated to be 285 million, of whom 39 million are blind. People 50 years and older are 82% of all the blind.2 The major causes of visual impairment are uncorrected refractive errors 43% and cataract 33%; the first cause of blindness is cataract 51%.2 This is why Intraocular Lenses or “IOL’s” are such a spectacular medical advancement. IOL’s, along with their implant device called an insertion cartridge, requires a hydrophilic coating in order to reduce the trauma of insertion. Without these effective – yet tiny devices about the size of a pea, many people would not be able to live normal lives. They would have to rely on other costly and ineffective alternatives.

replacement of the crystalline lens in cataract

We all know that sight is something most people would not want to live without.  But what if you could pay to have it back? Well, you can if you have cataract surgery! Although  it may seem expensive for a one-time cost, alternative options are more costly. The innovation and success of the IOL and cataract surgery has been a miraculous contribution to the medical community and to those that suffer from the cataract disease.

Hydromer® has 40+ years of understanding the fragility of these devices and others like them. Being an FDA Regulated, ISO Certified facility, we handle every device with care – as if it were our own. We have the capabilities to coat the cartridges of the IOL devices, so that it allows surgeons to insert the most Innovative IOL devices into the eye with minimal trauma.

In addition to Hydrophilic Medical Coatings, Hydromer also provides the industry with Research & Development, Contract Coating Services, Custom Coating Equipment, Support Services, and many more options to bring your medical device to the market faster, under the strict control of a GMP controlled environment.  However, if you prefer to coat in your own facility,  we also offer technology transfer services and licensing arrangements!


Pub Med- 1

J;, Apple DJ;Sims. “Harold Ridley and the Invention of the Intraocular Lens.” Survey of Ophthalmology, U.S. National Library of Medicine,


“Global Data on Visual Impairment.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 8 Dec. 2017,