A new step forward has been taken with regard to contact lenses that can release medication, which is a very promising alternative that can replace the discomfort of daily eye drops.
A team of researchers from Massachusetts Children’s Eye and Ear Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital have developed contact lenses that can vaccinate medications even in the back of the retina, which is the most difficult to access but still needs treatment in the context of various retinal diseases.
Currently, eye injections or implants are used to treat this internal area of the retina – two methods which, unfortunately, have side effects. Furthermore, the patient’s fear of the needle should never be underestimated.
The new contact lenses presented in the biomaterials study have already been tested by researchers who used them to deliver the dexamethasone steroid used in inflammation to the back of some animals.
In these tests, the lenses showed that they could safely ensure prolonged retinal administration for a week with the same degree of efficacy as eye injections. Now the researchers hope to conduct the first tests in humans.