(ORDO NEWS) — Not for the faint of heart: Scientists have developed a “self-sealing” microneedle designed to deliver drugs into the eyeball and protect against infections at the injection site.
In a new study published in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials , scientists have described a new way to deliver drugs to the eye without the risk of complications.
After injection, the ultra-fine needle releases the drug and remains in the eye until it biodegrades. The cork at its end swells after injection, completely sealing the hole made by the needle.
Why is this needle safer than the others?
Some eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, require medication to be injected directly into the eyeball.
Usually a syringe and a needle are used for this. It is also common for treatments to require multiple injections over a long period of time.
This is not only extremely unpleasant for the patient, but frequent injections can damage the tissues of the eye and increase the risk of infection.
That is why the new system is the best solution. The needle releases the drug gradually (it can do this for seven days), so a single injection is required. It also clogs the hole and decomposes without a trace.
The researchers have so far tested the new drug delivery method in in vitro experiments and in laboratory animals.
There is still a long way to go before the system appears in pharmacies and hospitals: additional animal studies are needed and only then clinical trials in humans.
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