Study: Microneedles May Help Target Drugs to Back of the Eye
The results of a new study show microneedles of less than a millimeter in length can deliver drug molecules and particles to the eye in an animal model, according to a news release.
The researchers, from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, hope that the technique may soon provide eye doctors with a more effective way to treat diseases such as macular degeneration that affect tissues in the back of the eye.
The injection targets the suprachoroidal space of the eye, which provides a passageway for drugs injected across the sclera of the eye to flow along the eye's inner surface and into the back of the eye. The researchers believe the minimally invasive technique could represent an improvement over conventional methods that inject drugs into the center of the eye — or the use eyedrops, which have shown limited effectiveness in treating many diseases.
The study was reported in the July issue of the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.
"This research could lead to a simple and safe procedure that offers doctors a better way to target drugs to specific locations in the eye," said Samirkumar Patel, the paper's first author and a postdoctoral researcher at Georgia Tech when the research was conducted, in the release. "The design and simplicity of the microneedle device may make it more likely to be used in the clinic as a way to administer drug formulations into the suprachoroidal space that surrounds the eye."
The technology has been licensed to Atlanta-based Clearside Biomedical.
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