Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. It is projected that ~112 million people worldwide will develop glaucoma by 2040 (~100-200,000 are currently affected in Sweden). Glaucoma is known as the “silent thief of vision” as its symptoms are usually only felt at a late stage when the visual field and vision are seriously impaired. Current therapies have been proven insufficient due to poor drug bioavailability (short residence time and reduced absorption in physical eye barriers) and patient poor compliance.
Recently, nanomedicine has attracted special interest for the prevention of blindness due to glaucoma. Nanoparticles have been used as effective carriers for drug delivery in the eye, because of their high surface-to-volume ratio enabling high drug loading values for long term drug administration and consequently enhanced bioavailability.
Taking into consideration the unique properties of nanoparticles for eye drug delivery, we propose a novel drug delivery system consisting of biocompatible nanoparticles and new small molecular drugs against glaucoma.
The systematic approach for investigation of drug-nanoparticle conjugates for eye delivery will promote our understanding towards their development in precision medicine. As the proposed drug delivery systems will consist of biocompatible/FDA approved and natural components, their clinical translation for glaucoma prevention, even in societies that lack adequate ophthalmic care, will be promoted.
Image: Georgios Sotiriou & Vasiliki Tsikourkitoudi