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Soon, Contact Lenses That Can Deliver Drugs Into The Eye

You don't have to be born with it in order to have it. Yes, I am talking about the color of your eyes, with the invention of contact lenses, you can possibly imagine a shade and the next thing it is coloring your eyes. Most importantly, it was a relief for the people with spectacles, you no longer had to put up with the heavy frames that made you look less-attractive. The latest introduction in the world of optics are the lens material that can transfer drugs to the eyes.

Mark Byrne points out that the eye is well adapted at keeping foreign objects out. He says that most drugs are washed out by tears, disappearing down the eye's drainage system or simply spilling outside the eye.

A chemical engineer at Auburn University in Alabama has created a contact-lens material that can be helpful in getting drugs into the eye in sufficient amounts, something considered to be a tricky business. The researcher says that the contact-lens material he has developed can hold high concentrations of drugs, and release them more slowly.

He has revealed that the idea is to design the molecular structure of the lens material to mimic tissue-receptor sites that the drug will target within the body, reports New Scientist magazine. Byrne adds that the goal is to make the dummy receptors strike a balance, not holding the drug too tight, but also only releasing it slowly into the eye. For commercializing the idea, Byrne has set up a company called OcuMedic. The company is already developing anti-fungal contact lenses for treating eye infections in horses.

Sounds unique right? Maybe we should thank Leonardo da Vinci for first conceptualizing the contact lenses centuries ago, it surly has manged to bring on the Mona Lisa smile on the faces of many satisfied users.

Story first published: Wednesday, September 17, 2008, 11:02 [IST]