New technologies improve drug delivery to the eyes
Share this story

Existing drug delivery methods used to treat the front and back of the eye often cause discomfort for patients. Researchers at the Centre for Eye and Vision Research (CEVR) are studying how to create effective, non-invasive drug solutions that will both improve patient experience and the overall effectiveness of treatments delivered to the eye. 

To help increase drug delivery to the front of the eye, researchers are leveraging 3D printing technology and light-activated materials that support a time-controlled release of medication using ocular inserts and contact lenses. This way, instead of applying multiple drops each day, patients would apply an insert at the base of their eye or wear a drug-releasing contact lens for up to one week. 

For the back of the eye, researchers are leveraging innovative laser technology that would eliminate the need for patients with eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, to require regular needle injections. Using first-of-its-kind laser technology, practitioners would be able to non-invasively eliminate excess blood vessels, as well as effectively slow the progression of the disease. 

Through this leading-edge research, researchers are helping find efficient and comfortable methods of drug delivery to the eye – an ongoing challenge for vision scientists. 

For more information, visit the University of Waterloo. 

“When your sight is on the line, you want to know you’re getting the best treatment,” Phan says. The slow-release systems we’re building will increase treatment efficacy while also improving the patient experience.”
Chau-Minh Phan
Assistant research professor, Centre for Eye and Vision Research, University of Waterloo
More Stories
Finding alternative sources for a scarce resource
Developing local talent to build Ontario’s workforce
Developing environmentally friendly surgical masks for frontline workers