London, September 16 : A chemical engineer at Auburn University in Alabama has created a contact-lens material that can be helpful in getting drugs into the eye in sufficient amounts, something considered to be a tricky business.
Mark Byrne points out that the eye is well adapted at keeping foreign objects out.
He says that most drugs are washed out by tears, disappearing down the eye's drainage system or simply spilling outside the eye.
The researcher says that the contact-lens material he has developed can hold high concentrations of drugs, and release them more slowly.
He has revealed that the idea is to design the molecular structure of the lens material to mimic tissue-receptor sites that the drug will target within the body, reports New Scientist magazine.
Byrne adds that the goal is to make the dummy receptors strike a balance, not holding the drug too tight, but also only releasing it slowly into the eye.
For commercialising the idea, Byrne has set up a company called OcuMedic.
The company is already developing anti-fungal contact lenses for treating eye infections in horses.