November 2, 2004 Scientists from the Singapore Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology have invented a method of manufacturing polymeric lens materials that can be loaded with eye medication for ophthalmic drug delivery applications. Currently, when a person suffers from eye ailments they will be prescribed eye drops. However, 95% of the medication administered in this manner flows to where it is not needed. The drops usually mix with tears and drain into the nasal cavity, where they can flow through the blood stream to other organs and cause serious side effects. In addition, dosage through eye drops is inconsistent and difficult to regulate, as most of the drugs are released in an initial burst of concentration. To counter these problems researchers have been studying the use of contact lenses to deliver eye medication. One proposed method was to pre-soak the lenses in the drug solution, while another involved incorporating the drug solution in a hollow cavity made by bonding two separate pieces of lens material. However, neither of these methods proved very effective at delivering medication for extended periods of time.
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