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New Type of Contact Lenses Deliver Medication With a Vitamin E Punch

Posted By Ariel Schwartz On March 24, 2010 @ 3:30 pm In Design for Health | 2 Comments

contact lenses, contact lens, vitamin e, glaucoma, dry eye, medication, health, green design

Contacts [1] are good for more than giving you perfect vision — lenses are also used to deliver medicine for glaucoma, cataracts, and other problems, but current technology forces the medication to spill out into the eye within an hour. A new type of contact lens developed by Anuj Chauhan, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Florida, is filled with vitamin E that constructs a so-called “chemical wall” in the lens — a tweak that allows medications to be dispensed in a matter of hours instead of days.

contact lenses, contact lens, vitamin e, glaucoma, dry eye, medication, health, green design

The process works because vitamin E is hydrophobic, while most drugs made for eye diseases are hydrophilic (water-loving). That means medication has to move around the vitamin E chemical wall to get into the eye, thus delaying the dispensing process. Chauhan’s theory has already been proven correct in lab experiments — the vitamin E-packed lenses [2] released drugs for 100 times longer than current medicated lenses.

But don’t start hunting for a new contact lens prescription quite yet. Chauhan’s lenses still have to go through human clinical trials — a process that can take over five years. But eventually, vitamin E lenses could make common problems like dry eye [3] practically nonexistent, at least for lens-wearers.

+ Anuj Chauhan [4]

Via LiveScience [5]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/new-type-of-contact-lense-delivers-medication-with-a-vitamin-e-punch/

URLs in this post:

[1] Contacts: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/17/solar-powered-augmented-contact-lenses-cover-your-eye-with-100s-of-leds/

[2] lenses: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/12/22/color-changing-contact-lenses-help-diabetics-monitor-glucose-levels/

[3] eye: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/12/29/mini-photovoltaic-device-give-sight-to-the-blind/

[4] + Anuj Chauhan: http://www.che.ufl.edu/faculty/chauhan/index.html

[5] LiveScience: http://www.livescience.com/technology/contact-lens-vitamin-e-100324.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+livescience%2Ftechnology+%28LiveScience.com+Technology%29

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