The ” Biodegradable silicon nanoneedles for ocular drug delivery ” developed by the research teams of Padhu University and Michigan University in the United States, Hanyang University and Hong Kong University in South Korea, and Jin Wu Institute of Technology is a melting contact lens with embedded nanoneedles. It is an eye drug delivery system that automatically administers drugs to the eyes for a long period of time.
Nanoneedles that have penetrated into the cornea administer the drug over a month to treat the eyes without bothering the user and suppressing side effects.
Currently, there are two methods for administering a drug to the eye: a method of directly applying the drug to the external eye and a method of injecting the drug. However, neither method is optimal because the medicine to be applied does not penetrate deep into the eye and injections are often painful and inflamed. Not only is it burdensome to the patient, but there is also the risk of side effects such as keratitis, blurred vision and eye discomfort.
Therefore, the research team proposes a method of eye-catching and administering contact lenses equipped with nanoneedles. This contact lens is constructed by integrating nanoneedle using silicon for long-term penetration into the cornea and contact lens that dissolves in tears immediately.
Silicon nanoneedles (Si NNs) penetrate the cornea with minimal invasiveness and are gradually degraded over several months, enabling painless and long-lasting delivery of ophthalmic agents. Tear-soluble contact lenses are compatible with a variety of corneal sizes and dissolve in tear fluid within 1 minute, allowing initial release of anti-inflammatory agents.
Specifically, Si NN is introduced into the corneal epithelial layer by lightly pressing a tear-soluble contact lens against the eyeball. Contact lenses that dissolve in tears are completely dissolved by tears within 1 minute of application, and eye drops such as anti-inflammatory agents are first released.
In parallel, the implanted Si NN is gradually dissolved in the cornea for a long period of time (1 month or more) by the hydrolysis reaction of silicic acid and hydrogen in the tear fluid, through which the long-term sustained release of the therapeutic drug is released. Will be done.
In the experiment, contact lenses were inserted into the cornea of rabbits to examine what happens to the new blood vessels in the cornea. As a result, it was confirmed that the new blood vessels of the cornea decreased almost completely after 28 days. It suggests that it may be treated effectively without showing significant side effects compared to current standard treatments.
More research is needed to use this contact lens treatment to treat human patients, the researchers say. First, we need to test both efficacy and safety, and we also need to develop a means to store lenses once created.