Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Contact lenses with medicine and sugar

18.04.2019

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP are working with Israeli and German partners to develop long-wearing contact lenses that can release medicine. The active ingredient is encapsulated in liposomes and bound to the inside of the contact lenses. This enables it to remain in the eye for longer. Sugars are added to make the contact lens particularly comfortable to wear.

When eye diseases are treated topically often only about five percent of the drug has an effect on the eye tissue. The German-Israeli research team would therefore like to use contact lenses as a transport system for active substances in order to prolong the contact time of the drug with the tissue in the eye.


In the future, contact lenses should be able to release medication over time and still be comfortable to wear.

© Fraunhofer IAP

This system could be used, for example, to relieve pain, improve wound healing and protect the cornea. However, there are a lot of requirements: the active ingredient must be released for as long as possible, the contact lens needs to have excellent lubricating properties and all components must be biologically inert.

There is currently no such application system on the market that meets all of these requirements.


Liposomes release active ingredients over time

The Israeli partner company EyeYon Medical has already developed drug-administering contact lenses that ensure longer residence times of the active substances. Nahum Ferera, CEO of EyeYon Medical, explains:

“These contact lenses release the drug for approximately 20 minutes. When eye drops are used, only 4 percent of the active ingredient generally reaches its target. We would like to extend this length of time as well as the bioavailability.

According to some studies, up to 30 percent of all contact lens wearers complain that wearing contact lenses is generally uncomfortable. With the help of the Fraunhofer IAP and the other partners, we want to improve both parameters - the release time of the drug and wearing comfort.”

The goal of the German-Israeli research team is to coat the inside of the contact lens with liposomes that carry a drug and release it over time. The liposomes are produced at the Weizmann Institute of Science by a research group led by Prof. Jacob Klein and Dr. Ronit Goldberg. However, the use of liposomes is not the only strategy for optimizing contact lenses.


Sugar to enhance efficacy and comfort

“Sugars play a key role in this project”, explains Dr. Ruben R. Rosencrantz, who heads up the project at the Fraunhofer IAP. “Sugars act as lubricants at different locations in our bodies. In the eye’s mucous layer, for example, they enable the eyelid to glide smoothly.

In order to achieve precisely this effect with contact lenses, we at the Fraunhofer IAP have developed polymers with a high sugar content, so-called glycopolymers. They coat the entire surface of the contact lens, but they can also be structural components of the liposomes carrying the drug”, explains Rosencrantz. The glycopolymer coating on the contact lens is being developed by the German company Surflay Nanotec.


On track to becoming a marketable medical device

The five partners and two subcontractors DendroPharm GmbH and Nextar Chempharma Solutions are working closely with one another in obtaining an approved medical device. The three-year project will run until July 2021. The researchers must also ensure that all of the components are biocompatible.

Biocompatibility tests are being carried out at the Rostock University Medical Center. The two subcontractors are also checking whether all system components have been manufactured in accordance with GMP (good manufacturing practice) guidelines, a kind of quality seal for the pharmaceutical and medical industries.

“Once the functionality and biocompatibility of the contact lens has been ensured, we also need to make sure that the glycopolymer can be produced in large quantities”, explains Rosencrantz who has studied both chemistry and biology.

“The mass production of glycopolymers is a very important aspect of the project at the Fraunhofer IAP because, in the end, the price must also be competitive”, Rosenkranz explains.

The project is receiving around one million euros in funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Dr. Sandra Mehlhase | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

Further reports about: Angewandte Polymerforschung Contact lenses IAP Polymerforschung lens liposomes sugar

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Structure of a mitochondrial ATP synthase
19.11.2019 | Science For Life Laboratory

nachricht Mantis shrimp vs. disco clams: Colorful sea creatures do more than dazzle
19.11.2019 | University of Colorado at Boulder

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Atoms don't like jumping rope

Nanooptical traps are a promising building block for quantum technologies. Austrian and German scientists have now removed an important obstacle to their practical use. They were able to show that a special form of mechanical vibration heats trapped particles in a very short time and knocks them out of the trap.

By controlling individual atoms, quantum properties can be investigated and made usable for technological applications. For about ten years, physicists have...

Im Focus: Images from NJIT's big bear solar observatory peel away layers of a stellar mystery

An international team of scientists, including three researchers from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), has shed new light on one of the central mysteries of solar physics: how energy from the Sun is transferred to the star's upper atmosphere, heating it to 1 million degrees Fahrenheit and higher in some regions, temperatures that are vastly hotter than the Sun's surface.

With new images from NJIT's Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO), the researchers have revealed in groundbreaking, granular detail what appears to be a likely...

Im Focus: New opportunities in additive manufacturing presented

Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden demonstrates manufacturing of copper components

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has succeeded in using Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) to...

Im Focus: New Pitt research finds carbon nanotubes show a love/hate relationship with water

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.

New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...

Im Focus: Magnets for the second dimension

If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.

Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

High entropy alloys for hot turbines and tireless metal-forming presses

05.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Structure of a mitochondrial ATP synthase

19.11.2019 | Life Sciences

The measurements of the expansion of the universe don't add up

19.11.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Ayahuasca compound changes brainwaves to vivid 'waking-dream' state

19.11.2019 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>