An eye-deal material

Vitreoretinal surgical device utilizes Covestro polycarbonate

Disposable ophthalmic surgical device from Vortex Surgical Inc.
The Internal Delivery Device, a disposable ophthalmic surgical device from Vortex Surgical Inc., features a threaded female luer adaptor made from Makrolon® 2558 polycarbonate. (Photo credit: Vortex Surgical Inc.)

Pittsburgh, February 10, 2020 — Vitreoretinal surgery requires specialized devices to protect eye health, and the materials used in such surgical devices must be reliable and meet regulatory requirements. For this reason, Vortex Surgical Inc. turned to Covestro to find the right material — Makrolon® 2558 polycarbonate — for a component of its Internal Delivery Device (IDD). This disposable ophthalmic surgical device, designed to address the limitations of current solutions on the market, can be used in a variety of ophthalmic procedures such as retinal detachments, macular holes and viscodissection of membranes.

The IDD is used to inject fluids under or in between the membranes at the posterior of the eye. Ergonomics are critical in retinal surgery, and the IDD design enables surgeons to have smooth control of the distal tip position while directing the flow of fluids against the underside of the eye’s membrane and away from the retina to dissect the membrane from the retina.

“The polycarbonate grade utilized by Vortex Surgical is an excellent material for medical applications like the IDD device, due to its proven safety and functional profile,” said Zac Williams, market development, Healthcare – Polycarbonates, Covestro LLC.

Makrolon® 2558 polycarbonate is injection molded to form a threaded female luer adaptor. Vortex Surgical selected Makrolon® 2558 polycarbonate for its beneficial attributes, including:

  • Biocompatible according to ISO 10993-1 test requirements
  • Ability to bond to cyanoacrylate adhesives
  • Good hydrolysis resistance
  • Easy release characteristics for processing


Beyond supplying the material, Covestro offered other valuable support, as well, according to Matt LaConte, R&D engineer, Vortex Surgical. He explains that the Covestro component is in the fluid path of the instrument. As such, this component is considered an indirect patient contact material, which requires an evaluation of the raw material’s biocompatibility. “Covestro provided us with a report of the ISO 10993 testing that supported the registration of the product,” he said.

This type of comprehensive support is one of the advantages of collaborating with Covestro, explains Lauren Zetts, Americas market manager, Healthcare – Polycarbonates, Covestro LLC. “Covestro has a long history of providing healthcare customers with innovative materials and technical expertise for a range of applications,” she said. “It’s very rewarding to help customers, like Vortex Surgical, fill a need in the market.”

Attendees at MD&M West Conference and Exposition, February 11-13, in Anaheim, California, can visit the Covestro booth (#2221) to learn more about the company’s medical applications and materials.

About Covestro LLC:

Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business, which is among the world’s largest polymer companies with 2018 sales of EUR 14.6 billion. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, electrical and electronics, and healthcare industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 16,800 people at the end of 2018.

Find more information at www.covestro.us or www.solutions.covestro.com/en/materials/plastics.

About Vortex Surgical Inc.:

Vortex Surgical Inc., is a company comprised of proven retina industry professionals with 140 years of experience in the design, development, manufacturing and distribution of innovative surgical products and systems for Vitreo-Retinal surgery. Our history and mission focuses on providing clinically significant products to aid our customers in providing world-class eye care as efficiently as possible.

For more information about Vortex Surgical, visit www.vortexsurgical.com.

Makrolon® is a registered trademark of Covestro Group.

Covestro Contact:

John Skabardonis, Phone: +1 412 413 5444
John.Skabardonis@covestro.com

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This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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