"From the fibers, a fabric is created, from which numerous medical devices, including drug release devices, can be fashioned," said Benjamin Eliason, CEO of Nicast. "Various drugs can be incorporated into or onto the polymer fibers, or encapsulated inside miniature electrospun polymer capsules, and released inside the body over time."
To insert the medicine, Grozdanic makes a small incision in the dog's conjunctiva, the white tissue surrounding the eye. He then closes the opening with one, tiny stitch. The entire process takes just a few minutes and is done with local anesthetic.
To date, Grozdanic has used the new drug delivery method on six dogs. None of the dogs had been improving with the use of eye drops. Grozdanic is getting results with the new treatment.
"In all the dogs we saw positive results," said Grozdanic. "In some dogs, the results were spectacular. In some, the results were decent. The results were always positive. That's very good considering that they were non-responsive to treatment using other eye medication before receiving the implants," he said.
One of the dogs Grozdanic is working with is Gora, a military dog working for the Department of the Navy in Washington, D.C.
Last year, Dr. Shara Chance of the U. S. Army Veterinary Corps and Gora's veterinarian, diagnosed Gora with Pannus, an inflammation of the corneal surface of the eye and the conjunctiva. Chance treated the problem with eye drops but the condition got worse, she said.
Gora is a highly trained dog that works around high-profile people and needs to be comfortable and focused on her job, according to Chance. After Chance found Grozdanic's name on the Internet, she decided that his treatment method may help Gora.
Chance brought Gora to ISU to have the procedure done. Chance is happy with the results and Gora is back at work.
"She has had improvement in the appearance of her eyes, but more importantly, s
|Contact: Sinisa Grozdanic|
Iowa State University