The objective of this project is to develop a novel extended wear contact lens with controllable and sustained release of latanoprost for the duration of wear to treat glaucoma. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world with the total number of cases estimated at over 70 million worldwide. There is a substantial need for more efficacious and convenient delivery of ocular therapeutics, especially glaucoma medication, via non-invasive platforms. Current treatment options predominantly consist of topical eye drops, which lead to significant peaks and valleys in drug concentration and intraocular pressure (IOP). The proposed work aims to solve these problems as well as poor patient compliance with increased latanoprost bioavailability and decreased side effects leading to significantly better patient outcomes. Novel, silicone hydrogel lenses will be rationally designed and synthesized with significant control over latanoprost release and loading while maintaining conventional lens properties such as optical clarity, mechanical properties, and oxygen diffusivity. The structure of the lens will be engineered by varying composition and polymerization conditions to produce macromolecular memory for latanoprost via non-covalent interactions within the polymer lens, leading to strict control of delivery rate and loading. Polymer lens structural, mechanical, optica properties will be characterized as well as in vitro latanoprost release at physiological flow conditions that match tear flow rate and turnover in the eye. In vivo latanoprost release from engineered contact lenses will be evaluated and compared to topical administration in canines measuring IOP and ocular concentration versus time. It is expected that engineered lenses will lead to a constant rate of latanoprost release and lead to approximately constant concentrations of drug in the eye, with little to no peaks and valleys, and a constant decreased IOP for the duration of lens wear.

Public Health Relevance

The objective of this project is to develop and test a new extended wear contact lens with extended time release of glaucoma medication. The lenses can replace the need for multiple eye drops for more efficient and effective treatment leading to significantly better patient outcomes.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Biomaterials and Biointerfaces Study Section (BMBI)
Program Officer
Chin, Hemin R
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Auburn University at Auburn
Engineering (All Types)
Schools of Engineering
Auburn University
United States
Zip Code
White, Charles James; DiPasquale, Stephen Anthony; Byrne, Mark Edward (2016) Controlled Release of Multiple Therapeutics from Silicone Hydrogel Contact Lenses. Optom Vis Sci 93:377-86