Project 12: Combined nano- and micro-technologies to treat diseases affecting the back of the eye

Diseases of the posterior segment of the eye are increasing considerably, in part due to an ageing population. Among them, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and  glaucoma are the most common cause of blindness, affecting the retina. Treatment of posterior segment diseases involves regular injections into the eye, which is associated with significant patient discomfort and potentially serious side effects, including bleeding, infection and retinal detachment. These diseases are characterized to be chronic and multifactorial and require delivery of therapeutic concentrations of the active substances for a long period of time.  As such, there is an unmet clinical need for the development of new and improved drug delivery systems to treat these pathologies.

This project aims to address this challenge through the development of novel nano- and micro-technologies and their combination as an alternative to multiple intraocular injections for the treatment of retinal disorders.

The objective of this ESR project is to evaluate the usefulness of different approaches (nano- and micro-particles) and their combinations as therapeutic tools in the treatment of chronic and multifactorial diseases affecting the back of the eye.

Brief training outcomes:

  • Development of the preparation method of microspheres attending to the properties of the potential active substances (biotechnological products and low molecular weight substances).
  • Validation of the technique employed for quantification of the active substance/s.
  • Preparation and characterization of nanoparticles/microparticles and their combinations.
  • Preparation and in vitro characterization of the combined drug delivery systems.
  • Optimization of formulations.
  • In vivo characterization of the optimized drug delivery formulations
  • Industry experience
  • Analysis of data
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