In This Video
- Joseph B. Ciolino, MD, is a clinician scientist at Mass Eye and Ear/Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Ophthalmology and an associate professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School
- Dr. Ciolino discusses his development of drug-releasing contact lenses, with the aim to improve treatment of corneal infections, ocular inflammation, retinal diseases and glaucoma
- Drug-releasing contact lenses can potentially provide improved patient care and treatment of diseases that normally require more complicated medical intervention
Joseph B. Ciolino, MD, is a clinician scientist at Mass Eye and Ear/Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Ophthalmology and an associate professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. In the video, he discusses the development of drug-releasing contact lenses to improve the treatment of corneal infections, ocular inflammation, retinal diseases and glaucoma. The drug-releasing lenses were found to be more effective in delivering large doses of medication in comparison to eye drops and could prevent the need for more complicated medication intervention.
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I'm working on developing a drug-releasing contact lens that I hope will improve the treatment of corneal infections, ocular inflammation, retinal diseases and glaucoma. The idea of a drug-releasing contact lens was first initiated 67 years ago; however, it's never been brought to fruition. We've been able to overcome previous challenges by introducing a very thin drug polymer film within the periphery of the contact lens.
When we started this project, we thought we were addressing compliance issues and the difficulty patients have using the eye drops. However, what we found is that we're able to deliver much more drug into the eye than you can get with drops even if you administer the drops every hour. Therefore, we might be able to eliminate the need for injections when it comes to treatment for glaucoma. In very relevant preclinical models, we've shown that we were able to double the effectiveness of a medication used to reduce the eye pressure for glaucoma. The hope is that we can more effectively treat glaucoma with the drug releasing lenses.
With the drug-releasing contact lenses, we can provide better patient care and better medical treatment of diseases that are sometimes difficult to treat. For example, some types of corneal ulcers are treated with hourly drops. When the hourly drops aren't effective, patients oftentimes require therapeutic corneal transplants. And it's my hope that with a better drug releasing contact lens we can avoid the need for those transplants.
One of the advantages to being at a place like Mass Eye and Ear and working on something like drug delivery is that I can work with leaders in the field. For instance, when it comes to glaucoma, I'm able to collaborate with Drs. David Friedman and Courtney Ondeck for a study in glaucoma in their patients. And they can help us better understand how to utilize our technology for the benefit of the patients. It wouldn't be possible without the support I've gotten from Mass Eye and Ear and Mass General Hospital.
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