Accelerating Eye Healing: The Power of Contact LensesA team of researchers at the University of Waterloo has developed a groundbreaking new contact lens material that could revolutionize the way we treat corneal wounds. This innovative material acts as a bandage for the eye while also releasing drugs in a controlled manner to help speed up the healing process.

Traditionally, patients with corneal abrasions have had to wear a bandage contact lens for up to 10 days, often with antibiotic eye drops. However, the challenge has been ensuring that enough medication stays on the eye for effective treatment. Dr. Lyndon Jones, a professor at Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science, explained, “It’s a targeted-release drug delivery system that is responsive to the body. The more injured you are, the more drug gets delivered, which is unique and potentially a game changer.”

The team behind this innovative material includes researchers and entrepreneurs from various disciplines at the University of Waterloo. By combining their expertise, they were able to develop a material that is 10 times stronger than traditional collagen-based materials and degrades in response to enzymes naturally found in the eye.

In human cell culture studies, the researchers were able to achieve complete wound healing within five days using this new contact lens material. The material is also designed to only become activated at eye temperatures, providing a built-in storage mechanism.

The next step for the team is to fine-tune the material and explore the possibility of entrapping different drugs in it. They believe that this material has the potential to not only revolutionize eye care but also be used for other body sites, such as large skin ulcers.

The research paper detailing their findings has been published in Pharmaceutics. For more information, you can access the original article from the University of Waterloo’s website.

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