Revolutionizing Eye Care: The Healing 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 the eye heal faster.

Traditionally, patients with corneal abrasions have to wear a bandage contact lens for seven to 10 days, along with antibiotic eye drops. However, the one-time application of antibiotics can make it challenging to ensure that enough drugs stay on the eye for sustained 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, including chemical engineering and biomaterials. By using collagen-based materials that degrade in response to enzymes naturally found in the eye, they were able to create a contact lens material that releases drugs in proportion to the amount of enzymes present at the wound site.

In human cell culture studies, the researchers achieved complete wound healing within five days using this novel contact lens material. The material is also designed to only become activated at eye temperatures, providing an inbuilt 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 great potential not only for treating eye injuries but also for other body sites, such as large skin ulcers.

The research paper detailing their findings was published in Pharmaceutics and can be accessed here.

For more information on this groundbreaking research, you can visit the original article here.

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