Anti-Inflammatory Drug Delivery System for Implantable Human Intra Ocular Lens after Cataract Surgery
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Today, the world’s most significant and widespread cause of blindness is cataract. The only way to treat cataract is the replacement of crystalline human lens by implanting an intraocular lens (IOL) to replace it. The main goal of an IOL is to completely restore original visual ability,and not just partially provide some of crystalline lens features. Therefore, it must be capable of full range accommodation, modifying the focal point according to distance of the object, and last for more than 30 years since life expectations have grown during last decades. Modern accommodative IOLs are the result of many years of research about biocompatible materials and improvements in the surgical techniques, design strategies, and fabrication processes. Although IOL implantation surgery is recognised as a safe procedure today, post-operative inflammation is still a big challenge, which now various researchers are trying to address through Drug De- livery Systems (DDS). Our IOL design is intended to mimic the accommodative behaviour of the actual human lens and is based on a compressible Fresnel lens. The DDS, included inside the lens itself, provides post-operative drug delivery independent of patient compliance. This is a major breakthrough and it is made of a set of nano-channels arranged throughout a spiral path, owing to which the overall structure will have a great compressibility and accommodative range. Moreover,these channels, when compressed, release an anti-inflammatory liquid solution, until they become empty. The time window, during which the DDS is active, can be tailored according to the characteristics of the fluid filling the channels, and, importantly, once it is over there is no need of refilling the channels, since they have accomplished their task, or removing the DDS implant from the lens, since it is an all-in-one system. We would like to stress that the all-in-one system-feature is a very important characteristic of our design because, besides the many advantages we already talked about, it does not lead to any displacement of the DDS causing discomfort to the patient, as current biodegradable DDS implants do.