Glaucoma ranks second in the world after cataracts among the causes of blindness, and by 2020 there will be 76 million sick people in the world (and by 2040 - already 112 million) Partly the reason for this is the complexity of treatment - there is an effective method, but the medicine must be given in the eye strictly on schedule. And what an inattentive person cannot cope with can now be done by an implant.
The development of a remedy for glaucoma was taken up by Dr. Teyal Desai of the University of San Francisco. His department is working on innovative methods of taking drugs and delivering them to a diseased organ. Glaucoma is a suitable testing ground, as today's eye drops mostly flow past the affected optic nerve. Most of it enters the bloodstream and is excreted from the body, which is inconvenient and wasteful.
Desai's implant looks like a sandwich of two layers of biodegradable film, between which portions of the drug are dosed. The entire structure is installed in the patient's eye and, as the film dissolves, supplies him with medicine, after which it disappears without a trace. The patient does not need to do anything, just wait about 6 months and report the symptoms to the attending physician.
So far, there is not a word about such in the experiments of Dr. Desai, but so far the implants have been placed only in laboratory mice. The technology should not create complications for the patient, however, scaling implants to the size of a person and developing injectors according to modern standards will take a long time. There is no need to talk about the cost of this type of treatment at all - eye drops are obviously cheaper.
Cross section of a film implant