The Bala Asymmetric Cornea Vacuum PunchTM is a patented instrument that is designed for non-penetrating harvesting of donor tissue for Descemet’s Membrane Endotheial Keratoplasty (DMEK). These donor punches build on BPI’s experience with the design and manufacture of vacuum trephines and non-vacuum donor cornea punches. The instrument is delivered in a sterile, hermetically-sealed tray with Tyvek lid. It is disposable and is intended for single use.
The Bala Asymmetric Cornea Vacuum PunchTM is comprised of 3 components:
- Cutting Block (Base)
- Top with Blade
- Vacuum Syringe
The cutting block (or base) of the punch features 4 holes for aspirating the epithelial side of the cornea. There are 4 larger precisely located corner holes that accept aligning pins that are in the punch top. A small-diameter, flexible silicone tube is attached to the side of the base so that a vacuum can be created with the hand-operated vacuum syringe.
The punch top contains a stainless steel blade that is matched to the small vacuum holes in the base. Four stainless steel guideposts align with four corresponding holes in the cutting block, which accurately centers the blade over the donor cornea.
The punch incorporates a nylon top that has openings to provide a view of the donor tissue as it is being cut. This enables the surgeon to verify the correct seating of the top, and the desired location of the cut.
The blade of the Bala Asymmetric Cornea Vacuum Punch is fabricated from the hardest stainless steel that is available, and its manufacture employs a proprietary, multiple stage honing of the blade edge to give an unsurpassed sharpness. The thin wall of 0.13mm has a steep ground edge with a single bevel on the outside that reduces drag on the endothelium that is being harvested, unlike punch blades manufactured using double-bevel razor blades. And unlike bent razor blades, there is no discontinuity in the edge of the Barron blades.
The Bala punch uses a patented process to form a tale on the blade, as well as a bump on one side that provides a reference for orientation. The edge of the blade is contoured to match the spherical well of the cutting block. It should be noted that even though the edge of the tail section is matched to the cutting block well, the instrument is not intended to be used for complete penetration of the cornea. As with conventional harvesting of DMEK tissue, the blade is intended to be used for partial penetration into the stroma.
The Bala Asymmetric Donor Cornea Vacuum PunchTM currently comes in 1 size; a 7.6mm main cutting circle with a 2.8mm tail. The Asymmetric punches are sold only by Katena Products. Contact Katena Products to order item #K20-2206.