NanoLens : Dissolving Contact Lenses with Therapeutic Benefit for Glaucoma Patients
Students at the Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) have now designed contact lenses that contain the medication used by glaucoma patients, which will ensure that more of the medicine gets to where it needs to go to provide therapeutic benefit.
One of the students, Viktorija Pacharevaitė, explained: “I am wearing contact lenses myself, so I am familiar with the problems this causes. However, after some research into technology it became clear that similar ideas have already been developed. Therefore, we looked at the broader problem and decided to offer dissolving lenses for treatment of glaucoma.”
Besides Viktorija, NanoLens team comprises of chemical technology student Tomas Čaplinskas, and two mechanical engineering students Paulius Kirkus and Darius Kairys. In the Silicon Valley competition KTU students were joined by two students from San José State University, California.
The team has now won the second place at the Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge in Best Global Innovation category for their idea of NanoLens.
Their teacher Rita Jucevičienė, Associate Professor at KTU School of Economics and Business explains, “At the moment, glaucoma patients have to put in highly concentrated eye drops three times a day as the rate of the medicine absorption is only 5 percent. It is being calculated that the absorption rate of dissolving lenses can be 30 percent higher; the medicine would be less concentrated, therefore, less harmful to the eyes,” says Jucevičienė.
The idea introduced at the Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge competition has received a lot of positive reviews. According to Jucevičienė, although the recognition by the experts is very important, further development of the project depends on the students.
“It is indeed a very strong idea, however, for its further development funding is needed. We are thinking about the collaboration with KTU Startup Space, to look for other funding possibilities. In Lithuania, we have a growing and active startup ecosystem, therefore I see a perfect chance for success,” says Jucevičienė.