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More research coming on drug delivery via contact lenses

Article

Ocular drug delivery gains speed

A partnership between researchers at Austrailia’s University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney and India’s Uka Tarsadia University is investigating drug delivery through contact lenses.

Staff and students from both universities are collaborating on the project by assigning academics to participate in research, co-supervise postgraduate students, and give lectures and tutorials. Students are being given the opportunity to work alongside basic and clinical scientists in the emerging area of research on drug delivery to the ocular surface through contact lenses.

“We are delighted that the collaboration between UNSW and Uka Tarsadia University has been formalized and look forward to working together on research to develop therapeutic contact lenses that can help people in India, Australia, and the world,” said Professor Mark Willcox from UNSW’s School of Optometry.

“Ocular diseases are usually treated using eye drops, but unfortunately these often do not deliver enough drug or have the drug resident on the eye for long enough. Using contact lenses to deliver the drugs can overcome these problems and may be used to treat diseases such as glaucoma, dry eyes, conjunctivitis, myopia development and macular degeneration.”

Dr Alex Hui from UNSW’s School of Optometry and Vision said: “The partnership will allow for complementary collaborations among engineers, pharmacists, optometrists, and chemists. It comes at a critical time where research interest in managing diseases such as dry eye and myopia development is increasing both from clinicians and patients.”

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