Nanostructured contact lens technology

Ref: B0009

Research Institutes: Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN)

Tech readiness: Concept

Intellectual Property: Patent - Pending

Category: Materials - Bio Materials

Author: Leni


Our scientists have developed a process to make polymer membranes with nanopores. The technology involves having nanopores in membranes than can be fitted for various purposes, namely contact lenses. The nanopore technology can be used to develop methods of drug delivery via contact lens, glucose sensing contact lens, artificial corneas and ortho-keratology contact lens among other applications for the eyes. 

Our Innovation

The transparent polymer material containing tiny nanometre-sized channels is formed by the polymerisation of microemulsions. Microemulsions with both hydrophobic-and hydrophilic-structured domains allow use of these systems as mediums for the synthesis of materials with unique properties. These domains can provide an ideal environment for trapping hydrophobic as well as hydrophilic drugs. The nanoporescan also increase drug-loading capacity while retaining appropriate lens clarity and sustained-release characteristics. By changing the combination of materials in the lens makeup, the width of the tiny channels can be varied to control the flow of the drug. By varying the size of the nanopores, the oxygen permeability and wettability of the polymer membrane can also be adjusted and optimised. Upon insertion into the eye, the drug-loaded lens will slowly release the drug into the pre-lens tear film, i.e., the film in between the air and the lens (PLTF) and the post lens film, i.e., the film in between the cornea and the lens (POLTF) - An increase in the residence time of the drug in the POLTF induces a higher drug flux through the cornea.Key Features:Simple, cost-effective process Addresses the technical problems faced by earlier conventional approaches

Potential Applications

Provide the ability to load hydrophilic as well as hydrophobic drugsTo increase the oxygen permeability of contact lens and artificial corneaTo increase the wettability of contact lensArtificial substrate for growing stem cellsThe technology is a simple, cost-effective process that could be tailored for various different contact lens and contact lens related applications which are anticipated to have large market demands.Some applications which the technology could be applied to include:Orthokeratology contact lens.Drug delivery to treat eye conditions.Non-invasive glucose measurement in diabetics.Artificial cornea, corneal in lay and corneal wound healing.

Our Value Proposition

This new approach provides a method of sustained and controlled drug delivery to the eye area. This method addresses the technical incapabilities faced by other and earlier conventional approaches. This technology also improves the bioavailability and absorption of drugs and in vivo efficacy compared to the use of eye drops.
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