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Delivering drugs to the eye without pain

Scientists have successfully tested in rabbits, a new method to deliver drugs into the eye with a tear-soluble contact lens.

The research was carried out by researchers from Purdue University, Indiana, and the University of Michigan, both USA, and from Hongik University, Hanyang University and Kumoh National Institute of Technology, all South Korea.

As an article in Medical Express explained, currently delivering drugs to the eye has either been done directly to the outer eye - often not penetrating deeply enough - or by an injection, which can be painful.

The researchers therefore designed a contact lens that has small needles – biodegradeable silicon nanoneedles (see video) – that can help deliver a drug into the eye with far less discomfort.

The researchers tested their product (see Science Advances) on rabbits suffering from an eye disease in the cornea - the transparent part of the eye that covers the iris and the pupil - called corneal neovascularisation.

After 28 days of treating the rabbits using the contact lens, the researchers saw an almost complete reduction in the disease.

The researchers believe that their method might now be used as an optional treatment for other eye diseases such as glaucoma, melanoma, and cataracts.

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