A comprehensive review on contact lens for ophthalmic drug delivery

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With the prevalence of electronic devices and an aging population, the number of people affected with eye disease is increasing year by year. In spite of a large number of eye drops on the market, most of them do not perform sufficiently, due to rapid clearance mechanisms and ocular barriers. To enhance drug delivery to the eye, a number of novel formulations for ocular diseases have been investigated over recent decades, aiming to increase drug retention and permeation while also allowing for sustained drug release over prolonged periods. The contact lens, initially used to correct visual acuity and beautify female eyes, is one such novel formulation with outstanding potential. Recently, contact lenses have been extensively used for ocular drug delivery to enhance ocular bioavailability and reduce side effects, and are particularly suitable for the treatment of chronic diseases, and thus are of interest to ophthalmic scientists. This review summarizes contact lens classification, methods of preparation, strategies for integrating drugs into lenses, in vitro and in vivo studies, and clinical applications. This review also discusses the current state of ocular drug therapy and provides an outlook for future therapeutic opportunities in the field of ocular drug delivery.

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