Experts on UNAM developed contact lenses that dissolve for several minutes in the eye and they gradually release an auxiliary drug in conditions such as uveitis, which can lead to blindness if not treated properly. These are biodegradable lenses for inflammatory eye diseases.
This ophthalmic film, filled with dexamethasone, allows a controlled release of the active principle and better dose for optimum recovery.
A team of scientists from the Faculty of Higher Education (FES) Cuautitlán, led by Jose Juan Escobar Chavez, a specialist in pharmacy and pharmaceutical technology, has developed the shape and dimensions of traditional contact lenses so that its application is relatively easy; In addition, their polymers are water soluble, they are disintegrated with an ocular fluid and the waste is switched off.
Uveitis is uveal inflammation (vascular eye layer), one of the causes of redness in the eye; It is usually accompanied by burning, itching, tearing and decreased visual acuity. It is caused by infectious agents such as bacteria, parasites, fungi and viruses and non-infectious, such as contamination or excessive use of mobile devices.
In this regard, the university emphasized that in recent years there have been increased cases of virulence, especially among young people and children, due to their lifestyle combined with environmental conditions and the excessive use of electronic devices. "They spend a lot of time in front of television monitors, tablets, laptops and mobile phones."
He is also responsible for Laboratory 12 of the FES Cuautitlán multidisciplinary research unit, said he aims to increase the time the drug stays in the ocular epithelium to optimize its effectiveness.
With conventional procedures such as drops, the liquid with the active substance remains in a short time, because it is expelled almost immediately by tears and only five percent is used.
Meanwhile, the lenses created in UNAM decompose for several minutes, so the dose is used to the maximum without the need to administer frequently. FES Kuautitan has already initiated the patent application of this innovation, which in 2017 won the third place in the Kanifarm award in the category of technological innovation.
Carlos Arturo Velasquez Tapia and Abel Issa Penya Cuevas, graduates of the Pharmaceutical Diploma, were responsible for the design, development and characterization of biodegradable polymer lenses.
Now, together with the student Carla Stella Constantino, they develop laboratory eye inserts for veterinary use (for dogs), also with dexamethasone. "We have already characterized the pharmaceutical form, we will first test it with rabbits and then dogs," concluded Escobar Chavez.