SINGAPORE: Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) latest research centre Ocular Therapeutic Engineering Centre (OTEC) aims to come up with innovative solutions to treat eye problems like glaucoma.
OTEC is housed at NTU’s School of Materials Science and Engineering.
Director of OTEC, Professor Subbu Venkatraman, said the centre will build on the strong research collaboration between clinical scientists and NTU technologists to develop new drug delivery systems for the eye.
Among OTEC’s latest innovations is the LipoLat, an anti—glaucoma drug wrapped in nano—sized capsules that is delivered by an injection into the outer layer in the front of the eye.
The nano—carrier will then slowly release the drug over several weeks.
LipoLat is now ready for clinical trials.
Scientists at OTEC are also working on an implantable device that can constantly monitor the pressure changes within the eye in real time.
The scientists are also looking into developing a novel nano—carrier system that will be able to deliver drugs for a sustained period of time to the back of the retina when injected in the front of the eye.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide and affects an estimated 80 million people.
Glaucoma affects about six per cent of the population in Singapore. Half of those affected are over the age of 50. Glaucoma accounts for 40 per cent of blindness here.
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