Are Drug-Releasing Contact Lenses Effective?

July 24, 2009

Researchers reported the efficacy of a drug-eluting contact lens in the current issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

Prototype contact lenses of PLGA (poly[lactic-co-glycolic acid]) films coated with pHEMA (poly[hydroxyethyl methacrylate]) contained  encapsulated fluorescein or ciprofloxacin. Ciprofloxacin released from the contact lens was evaluated in an antimicrobial assay to verify its antimicrobial effectiveness.

After an initial burst, the prototype lens demonstrated a sustained release of either substance for up to four weeks. The rate of release could be controlled by altering ratios of drug or mass of PLGA used. The ciprofloxacin was active against ciprofloxacin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus at each time tested.

This concept of drug-dosed contact lenses has been discussed and attempted before. It will be interesting to see if this particular concept is more successful; it could be very helpful for corneal ulcers or glaucoma. It could eliminate some concerns about patient compliance in these diseases.

Read the abstract and article here (log in required).




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