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ACS: Special Contact Lenses Could Improve Eye Treatments

Study suggests that vitamin E-loaded lenses may enhance the delivery of glaucoma drugs

WEDNESDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- Contact lenses loaded with vitamin E may be an ideal vehicle for delivering ophthalmic drugs for glaucoma and other diseases, according to a study presented at the American Chemical Society's Spring 2010 National Meeting & Exposition, held from March 21 to 25 in San Francisco.

Anuj Chauhan, Ph.D., of the University of Florida in Gainesville, and colleagues developed an extended-release delivery system in which nanosized aggregates of vitamin E in contact lenses form "transport barriers" that prolong the release of medications into the eye.

In animal studies, the researchers found that contact lenses loaded with vitamin E can release ophthalmic drugs up to 100 times longer than several other commercial contact lenses, suggesting that the lenses could be designed for continuous wear for up to a month. The researchers said that the contacts could be used to treat conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts and dry eye.

"The drug delivery rates and duration of release can be controlled independently by choosing the appropriate loading of drug and vitamin E," the authors conclude. "The proposed approach will help deliver ophthalmic drugs in an efficient and controlled manner that could potentially reduce drug wastage, improve compliance, minimize side effects and maximize the efficacy of currently available drugs, and thus provide an effective approach to combat several ophthalmic diseases, including glaucoma, which is increasingly becoming a major problem in United States and all over the world."

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