If you want to take a peak into the future, check out the publication recently made available in an open access article from the American Chemical Society titled: “Ocular Drug Delivery Nanowafer with Enhanced Therapeutic Efficacy” by Yuan et al that provides an intriguing analysis of what topical drug therapy may look like in the not so distant future. While we typically consider topical ophthalmic drop delivery is direct and simple, the authors point out the challenging and unique barriers associated with the ocular surface that impede “adequate drug delivery and therapeutic efficacy”. They point out barriers such as reflex tearing, constant blinking, tight cellular junctions and nasolacrimal drainage that results in decreased contact time to a few minutes. The development of the nano wafer for ocular drug delivery is described as a tiny transparent disc that can be applied to the ocular surface and withstand constant blinking and contain various drugs that could be released over a few hours to days. After the wafer completes the drug delivery, it simply dissolves and fades away.
The initial step was to determine the ability of polymers to elicit pro-inflammatory and pro-angiogenic responses in a mouse model and later, demonstrate the ability of the nano wafers to release a drug (doxycycline) over time and due to its fluorescence, allowed monitoring pre corneal residence time and diffusion into the cornea by real-time imaging. One can only imagine the potential benefits for ocular therapeutics this may lead to from dry eye disease (DED), allergies, infections as well as intraocular therapies.
Read the full article here. (PDF)
Authors: XIaoyong Yuan et al.