Image credit – Chen et al. 2018

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When it comes to treatment for certain eye conditions, sometimes eye drops are prescribed. However sometimes eye drops aren’t the most effective way of dispensing medication, although the alternative are injections which let’s face it, seeing a needle come towards your eye is probably not the most pleasant thing that you can look forward to.

However the good news is that it looks like researchers could be working on something that could help deliver medication to the eye, but not in a scary or necessarily painful way. Researchers have recently developed microneedles that can be applied to the eye kind of like a contact lens, but unlike other microneedles, these microneedles can actually dissolve which helps the drug release slower and longer which is also said to be more effective.

While this sounds extremely promising, the researchers have only managed to test this out on mice, and that they would need to scale it up for humans who also have thicker corneas. Speaking to ArsTechnica, one of the researchers Peng Chen said, “We have not tested our current method for delivering drugs to the retina and posterior chamber of the eye, although it is possible that the drugs delivered into the cornea can diffuse into the posterior chamber, and it is possible to make our microneedle hard enough to penetrate sclera.”

Chen adds, “We are working on optimizing the eye patch (microneedle structures, polymer composition, enhanced stiffness of the needle) for better practical use.”

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