Developing eye drops that can reach the back of the eye

Dr Bridgeen Callan, Ulster University - £91,398

This research aims to see if drugs for wet age-related macular disease (AMD), delivered through eye drops, can make their way to the macula.

This could lead to patients not needing frequent injections.

What is the problem?

Wet AMD is treatable through drugs referred to as anti-VEGFs, however, these drugs need to be injected into the eyes every month or few months. While these are very safe, there are always potential side effects with injections, and they can be unpleasant, uncomfortable or stressful for patients.

What are they doing?

Using nanotechnology, this project aims to investigate whether wet AMD drugs could be delivered through eye drops. As the drug has to get from the front to the back of the eye, this means there are many barriers the drugs need to get through. These drugs will be tested in lab models to see if they work.

How can this help?

If successful, this could lead to clinical trials of eye drops as a way to treat wet AMD. This could stop patients needing to go for regular injections, and help stop overcrowding of eye clinics. Patients could administer their wet AMD eye drops themselves at home.