Nanomedicine for Eye Injections

iris100x100Topical application of eye drops is the most common way to deliver drugs to the eye to treat eye diseases. However, turnover of the tear film via blinking leads to rapid clearance of medications, often in just minutes. To overcome this and other topical barriers, medications can be introduced by intraocular injections, providing therapeutic drug concentrations for many hours or even a few days. However, injections are more invasive than topical application, so reducing the frequency of injections is a priority. One approach to reduce injection frequency is to inject high doses, though this approach can lead to unwanted side effects. An alternative is to inject high doses contained within nanoparticles that slowly release small, therapeutic amounts over time. Sustained release of therapeutic medicines from nanoparticles can also reduce the frequency of injections, which could significantly increase the quality of life for the patient and may decrease health-care costs. For example, the standard of care for wet type age-related macular degeneration (AMD) requires monthly injections into the eye in a clinical setting. Our promising nanomedicine technology releases sustained amounts of drug for months, potentially reducing eye injections to once every six months (see Commercialization).

Selected Publications

  • Welsbie DS, Yang Z, Ge Y, Mitchell KL, Zhou X, Martin SE, Berlinicke CA, Hackler L, Fuller J, Fu J, Cao LH, Han B, Auld D, Xue T, Hirai SI, Germain L, Simard-Bisson C, Blouin R, Nguyen JV, Davis CO, Enke RA, Boye SL, Merbs SL, Marsh-Armstrong N, Hauswirth WW, DiAntonio A, Nickells RW, Inglese J, Hanes J, Yau KW, Quigley HA, Zack DJ, (2013) Functional genomic screening identifies dual leucine zipper kinase as a key mediator of retinal ganglion cell death, Proc Natl Acad Sci, 110: 4045-50.
  • Kim AJ, Woodworth GF, Boylan NJ, Suk JS, Hanes J. (2014) Highly compacted pH-responsive DNA nanoparticles mediate transgene silencing in experimental glioma, J Mater Chem B Mater Biol Med. 2(46):8165-8173.