Friday, September 25, 2009

Drug-dispensing contact lens may treat eye conditions

Researchers have developed contact lenses with a sustained release of medication to treat glaucoma and other conditions.

Daniel Kohane, MD, PhD, director of the Laboratory for Biomaterials and Drug Delivery at Children's Hospital Boston, collaborator Joseph Ciolino, MD, of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and colleagues at the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) described their prototype lens in the July 2009 issue of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science.

The researchers created a two-layer CL with an inner drug-bearing biodegradable polymer film known as PLGA. Both PLGA and pHEMA—used for the coating—have been well studied and are already FDA-approved for ocular use.

In laboratory testing, the prototype lenses dispensed ciprofloxacin for 30 days in amounts sufficient to kill pathogens. Researchers see application for conditions including glaucoma and dry eye, which require frequent daily eye drops. The technology won in the life sciences track in MIT's 100K Entrepreneurship Competition.


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