Long-Lasting, Nonsurgical Treatment for Eye Pressure in Glaucoma
The current treatment for glaucoma targets relieving the fluid buildup that marks the disease. These treatments consist of eye drops that can be difficult to administer as regularly as needed, or laser or invasive surgery, which carries risks for complications.
For this project, Mark Prausnitz, PhD, and his colleagues will test the safety and efficacy of a different type of intervention: an expanding gel. The treatment requires a single injection that can last months, offering a potential nonsurgical, long-lasting intervention for glaucoma.
To optimize this hydrogel treatment, the researchers will develop different formulations to test, including in-lab models of eye pressure. They also will conduct studies to better understand how the gel works. Their prediction is that the hydrogel enlarges a space where the built-up fluid can flow more easily from the eye, reducing pressure.
When the work is done, Dr. Prausnitz and his colleagues expect to have a gel formulation and method that is safe and effective to lower pressure in the eye. This study can set the stage to move into clinical trials, where success could mean a new method of treating glaucoma that does not involve drugs or surgery.