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 to wear a bandage contact lens for seven to 10 days, along with antibiotic eye drops. However, the challenge lies in ensuring that enough medication stays on the eye for effective treatment. Dr. Lyndon Jones, a professor at Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science, explains that their new material is a targeted-release drug delivery system that responds to the body’s needs. The more severe the injury, the more medication is delivered, making it a potential game-changer in eye care.

The team behind this innovative material includes researchers and entrepreneurs from various disciplines, such as chemical engineering and biochemistry. By combining their expertise, they were able to develop a collagen-based material that is ten times stronger than traditional materials used in contact lenses. This material degrades in response to enzymes naturally found in the eye, allowing for controlled drug release proportional to the severity of the wound.

In laboratory studies, the researchers successfully achieved complete wound healing within five days using their drug-releasing contact lens material. The material is also designed to activate only at eye temperatures, providing a built-in storage mechanism.

The team is now focused on further refining the material and exploring its potential applications beyond the eye, such as treating large skin ulcers. Their research has been published in the journal Pharmaceutics and holds promise for improving the way we heal wounds in the future.

For more information on this groundbreaking research, you can read the full article here.

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