Coming Soon: A New and Better Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy

An implant could deliver medication for diabetic retinopathy.

| Dec 26, 2011

Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to blood vessels of the retina. Almost everyone who has had diabetes for thirty years or more has some sign of the condition. Now, retinopathy researchers have come up with a device that will be implanted behind a patient's eye to deliver medication on demand. "We wanted to come up with a safe and effective way to help diabetic patients safeguard their sight," said lead author Mu Chiao, a mechanical engineering associate professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, in Science Daily. "This new device offers improvements upon existing implantable devices for drug delivery."

One of the current treatments is photocoagulation laser therapy, in which tiny burns are made on the retina to seal blood vessels. The side effects may be the loss of peripheral (side) vision or night vision. The other treatment is anti-cancer drugs, but the high dosages required expose other tissues and may damage them.

The UBC team, which also included mechanical engineer Fatemeh Nazly Pirmoradi, PhD, incorporated the ability to trigger the drug delivery system through an external magnetic field. The team sealed the reservoir of the implantable device, which is no larger than the head of a pin, with an elastic magnetic silicone membrane. The magnetic field causes the membrane to change shape in order to discharge a specific amount of the drug, much like squeezing water out of a flexible bottle.

In a series of lab tests, the UBC researchers loaded the implantable device with the drug docetaxel and triggered it to release a dosage suitable for treating diabetic retinopathy. They found that the implantable device worked as it should, with negligible leakage over 35 days.



Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Blood Vessels, Diabetes, Diabetes, Diabetic Retinopathy, Elastic Magnetic Silicone Membrane, Fatemeh Nazly Pirmoradi, Implantable Devices, Magnetic Field, Medication on Demand, Night Vision, Peripheral Vision, Photocoagulation Laser Therapy, University of British Columbia

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (2)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Posted by Anonymous on 2 January 2012

It's about time that they found something else besides laser treatment. Even though I have not had to use it extensively, once is too many times in my opinion. It left me with many problems driving at night. I cannot imagine the problems with those who have had to have the treatment many times. Then again, every treatment with regard to finding a cure for diabetes needs to be fine-tuned and stepped up. Insulin is only keeping us all alive, no more and no less. It is far from the treatment I really wish we all had.

Posted by Anonymous on 10 January 2012

I love the irresponsible headline. This will never happen.

Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.