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Iowa State researcher develops new treatment method for canine eye diseases
Date:10/28/2008

AMES, Iowa -- An Iowa State University researcher is exploring a new method of getting medicine to the eyes of infected dogs that is more effective and reliable than using eye drops.

Dr. Sinisa Grozdanic, an assistant professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Iowa State's College of Veterinary Medicine, is working with a drug manufacturer to develop a method of implanting biodegradable medicine into the tissue surrounding a dog's eyes. The medicine releases gradually and treats the infected eye for an entire year.

This is the first time the procedure has been tried to improve auto-immune corneal diseases that can cause pain, redness, inflammation and other eye problems for canines.

This type of drug application is designed to replace eye drops that may require an owner to put drops in a dog's eyes several times a day, sometimes without noticeable effect.

"With drops, immediately after putting them in the eye, there is a lot of medicine going where it needs to go," said Grozdanic. "Then the amount of medicine getting into the eye goes down quickly. Also, you have a specific time for how long that drug will be therapeutically active."

With drops, there are also other issues such as missing a dose and not getting all the medicine into a fidgety dog's eyes.

"It's a hassle for the owner to get the drops in. It is a hassle for the dog as well," he said.

By putting this small pellet inside the tissue surrounding the eye, medicine constantly gets to the needed area for an entire year, he said.

"With this new method, you don't miss a dose. And it works for 24 hours for an entire year."

The polymer is made by the company Nicast Ltd. in Israel, which is developing the technology for both animal and human use.

The technology the company uses is called electrospinning. In making the implant, the needed drug is mixed with a polymer and formed into ultra-fine fibers.
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Contact: Sinisa Grozdanic
sgrozdan@iastate.edu
515-294-4900
Iowa State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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