Tan EndoGlide

The Tan EndoGlide device that is developed for corneal surgery 

A cloudy cornea is commonly due to damage to the inside layer of the cornea, known as the endothelial layer. Treatments include the Descemet's Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK) surgery that replaces the endothelial layer, allowing surgeons to target the specific cause of the patient’s vision impairment. Typically, the damaged cells are removed from the patient’s eyes and replaced with a very thin back portion of a donor cornea. 

Prof Donald Tan, currently senior advisor at the Singapore National Eye Centre, developed the Tan EndoGlide for use in DSAEK surgeries. It is a disposable surgical device to ensure safe and effective delivery of donor corneal tissue without damaging the donor endothelial cells. The device makes the insertion procedure relatively reliable and consistent, with the surgeon in full control at all stages of insertion. 

This video shows the Tan EndoGlide being used in a DSAEK surgery

The device obtained CE Mark in 2009, indicating its compliance with the European Union legislation and enabling its free movement within the European market. It was fully approved as a class 1 medical device by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that same year. It was the first FDA-approved DSAEK inserter device, out of 3 other competing devices from the US. It has been patented and licensed to a UK company, Network Medical, with distribution rights to AngioTech in the US.


The EndoGlide device being used in a corneal surgery. 

With nine published studies, the device has been shown to enhance corneal graft survival rates by providing the lowest donor corneal endothelial cell loss to date. It has been used in over 13,000 corneal transplants in 31 countries, and all DSAEK surgeries at the Singapore National Eye Centre and National University Hospital use the EndoGlide device.  

Two improved versions have been developed. The second version, EndoGlide Ultrathin for insertion of ultrathin (sub-100 um) corneal tissues, has replaced the original version. It spawned a second license to Network Medical with a total of two patents. Another version that is undergoing clinical trials is used for a new surgical procedure known as Descemets Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK).

The Tan EndoGlide was developed by Prof Donald Tan of the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) from the study on Translational Research Innovations in Ocular Surgery. It was funded by the S&T2010 Translational & Clinical Research (TCR) Flagship Programme under NRF’s Biomedical Sciences (BMS) TCR Strategic Research Programme


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