Contact lenses as sight-saving drug delivery system

A drug-dispensing contact lens has shown success in effectively lowering eye pressure in monkeys with induced glaucoma. In what is termed a ‘pre-clinical model’, the study found that the medication, latanoprost, usually administered by the patient in conventional eye drops, in the contact lens form had equal or better intraocular pressure reduction. To quote the study’s first author, “We found that a lower-dose contact lens delivered the same amount of pressure reduction as the latanoprost drops, and a higher-dose lens, interestingly enough, had better pressure reduction than the drops in our small study,” said Joseph B. Ciolino, M.D., an ophthalmologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. The design of the lens does double duty: the periphery contains the thin film of drug-encapsulated polymers that slowly releases the drug; the center of the lens is clear and breathable, thus usable for standard vision correction.

Contact lenses for drug delivery have been for decades intriguing to researchers, but the embedded drug delivery has been too rapid to be effective in most cases; thus the polymers and the design are critical in slowing delivery. (more…)

Contact lenses for measuring eye pressure

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”200″ /]Swiss company Sensimed Triggerfish (a most un-Swiss name!) has developed a soft contact lens for long-term (up to 24 hours) active measurement of intra-ocular pressure, a key indicator of glaucoma. Within the lens are small gauges and a transmitter which sends an output signal to a larger antenna affixed to a bandage worn around the eye. This antenna is then cable-connected to a recorder. From the recorder, the data is downloaded to the practitioner’s computer via Bluetooth. In ‘restricted commercial stage’  in CE-mark countries; submitted for 510(k) review to FDA but not yet approved in the US. Short article in ApplySci Discoveries; remarkably detailed MedGadget interview with Sensimed’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. René Goedkoop; Acta Ophthalmologica abstract.  Website. Hat tip to our Contributing Editor and TANN Ireland Editor Toni Bunting.