Contact lenses with dual drug delivery for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis

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Currently, bacterial conjunctivitis is treated by frequent administration of antibiotic eye drop solutions, which is tedious and patient noncompliant. Contact lenses could be ideal medical devices to sustain the release of ophthalmic drugs, but the incorporation of the latter can alter the optical and physical properties of the lenses. In addition, many contact lens users have reported the pink eye syndrome, making them unsuitable as ocular medical devices. In the present study, we have designed a novel type of lenses containing semi-circular rings loaded with moxifloxacin HCl (a broad spectrum antibiotic) and hyaluronic acid (a comfort agent), respectively, in order to treat bacterial conjunctivitis without altering the critical lens properties. The drug loaded rings were implanted separately within the periphery of the contact lenses using the modified cast moulding technology. The atomic force microscopy report showed an average roughness of 22.27nm for the implant lens, which was significantly lower in comparison to the marketed Freshlook® (116.27nm) contact lens. The major amount of moxifloxacin HCl was leached (68.16–74.55%) during the monomer extraction and wet sterilization (autoclave) steps; hence the lenses were terminally sterilized by radiation and packaged under dry condition (dehydrated). The in vitro release data showed release for moxifloxacin HCl and hyaluronic acid up to 96h. The in vivo drug release studies showed significant improvement [>MIC for Staphylococcus aureus] in the drug residence time in comparison to the eye drop therapy. The in vivo efficacy study in the staphylococcus aureus induced conjunctivitis showed equivalent healing effect with the single implant contact lens in comparison to the frequent high dose eye drop therapy. The study demonstrated the successful application of the implantation technology to co-deliver moxifloxacin HCl and hyaluronic acid from the contact lenses for the extended period of time to treat conjunctivitis.

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