The doctor is always curious whether you have been taking your medication, and some drugs are more difficult to administer than others. Numerous ways have already been put to practice to ensure medication compliance, but now another innovation is significantly closer to practical realization: drug-eluting contact lenses to ensure prolonged delivery of anti-glaucoma eye drops. Glaucoma is a disease in which an elevated intraocular pressure causes damage to the eye, resulting in visual field loss, sometimes progressing to blindness. Treatment mainly relies on lowering the eye pressure and certain eye drops, such as the latanoprost, can lower the eye pressure. The results of a study by a team from Massachusetts Eye and Ear testing the newly developed contacts will be published in Biomaterials in January, but are already available online.
The new contact lenses contain encapsulated latanoprost-polymer films and were tested in vivo on rabbits. The team was able to achieve latanoprost concentrations in the aqueous humor, comparable with daily latanoprost eye drops. The drug-polymer film is located in the periphery of the contact lens, ensuring a clear view through the centre of the lens. The lenses can also be used by traditional contacts wearers to correct nearsightedness or farsightedness.
The new contact lenses could provide for sustained ocular drug delivery and it will be interesting to see whether other kinds of drops could also be used in combination with these lenses.
Flashbacks: Drug Eluting Contact Lenses in The Works; Vitamin E Infused Contact Lenses for Glaucoma Therapy; Contact Lenses for Extended Release of Anesthetics following Eye Procedures; Drug-Delivering Contact Lenses Revealed