Eye care and treatments

Sticky nanoparticles could ‘revolutionise’ eye drops

Nanoparticles which ‘stick’ to the cornea could improve the effectiveness of eye drops and may in future provide a route to treatments for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to new research from the University of Reading.

While eye drops offer an easy, non-invasive method of drug delivery for patients with eye conditions, only a small fraction of the drug may ultimately cross the corneal barrier and make it into the eye – with a large proportion lost due to tear washout.

The researchers found that combining chemical enhancers with nanoparticles which stick to the corneal surface may allow more small molecules to cross into the eye. Loading these sticky nanoparticles with a drug could potentially provide a more effective method of delivering treatment via drops, with more drug penetrating into the eye and less washout.
The findings demonstrate the potential for a method of enhanced drug delivery, which could offer alternatives to more invasive treatments currently used for conditions of the back of the eye, such as AMD.
“This means eye drops have the potential to be a more effective, and a more comfortable, future treatment for disorders such as AMD,” said Professor Khutoryanskiy, the head of the research team.
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