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New uses for polymers could aid drug delivery, improve patients' lives

Drugs encapsulated in multi-layered polymer capsules can deliver an entire year's worth of medication in a single injection. These devices could lower costs, cause less pain, and reduce the risk of intraocular side effects without interfering with vision.
Dr. Katelyn Swindle-Reilly, Ohio State University, has worked on injectable vitreous drugs made from polymers, according to a university article.  

When Swindel-Reilly joined Ohio State, she realized there were strong collaborations available in Ophthalmology, Optometry and Biomedical Engineering, she decided to return to her early research on polymers for use in the eye, according to the article.

“We generally do polymeric materials for implants or devices, but then I had the opportunity to use some of the knowledge I'd picked up from working in drug delivery through wound care products,” Swindle-Reilly said in the article. Swindle-Reilly is a BMES member. 

Matthew Ohr, MD approached Swindle-Reilly about working together to develop a drug delivery device to extend the durability of monthly anti-VEGF injections patients receive for wet AMD. After collaborating with this idea, they received two years of funding from the Ohio Lions Eye Research Foundation, which has catapulted their project.

“Right now, in the clinic, they're injecting it in aqueous solution. It loses activity and diffuses out of the eye,” Swindle-Reilly says. “We're encapsulating it in small, multi-layered particles; that way it slows release so a patient can have an injection once or twice a year, in theory.”

Read the full article HERE.