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CRACK IT Challenge

RETINAS: Origin retinas syringe insertion device

A retinas device

At a glance

Award date
September 2012 - December 2013
Contract amount


  • Refinement



The key scientific basis of the project led by Mr Allen Pearson at Origin Product Design Ltd is to build up a 3 dimensional model of the rabbit’s eye and eye socket to allow the design of a suitable device to accurately and reliably locate the position of the Pars Plana. This will rely on collaboration with the sponsor to provide data from Laser Ophthalmoscopy, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Electron Microscopy to allow a 3 dimensional Computer Aided Design model to be built. This model will allow the designers to explore alternative ways and configurations of locating and manipulating the needle tip to the desired position.

The final deliverable of the project will be prototype devices that can be used to validate the design in vivo experiments. The success of the project is not only highly dependent on the scientific model of the structure of the rabbit’s eye but on the usability and ergonomics of the device.

Full details about this CRACK IT Challenge can be found on the CRACK IT website.


Rabbits used in the preclinical development of drugs targeting the ocular system receive intravitreal injections to study compound safety and efficacy. The site of these injections is the pars plana (between the ciliary body and the start of the retina/choroid) which is approximately 1mm in length and the lack of any obvious external features that can be reliably used to locate the correct area for injection, can have a negative impact on animal welfare and the accuracy and validity of these injections.  

The winners of the Challenge, Origin Product Design, in close collaboration with Challenge Sponsors GSK, have developed a new device that refines intravitreal injections in rabbits based on detailed study of the anatomy of the rabbit eye and the techniques used by scientists when administering the injections. The RETINAs device acts as a speculum for the eye, providing a fixed angle for the needle and a fixed depth of injection. The device has the potential to reduce the number of animals used and refine the experiments by minimising the risk of injury to the eye.

Read the blog from Allen Pearson, Origin Product Design.

Read the RETINAS success story.