Management and treatment of ocular diseases, such as glaucoma, myopia development and macular degeneration may be enhanced thanks to work being carried out by researchers at University of New South Wales (UNSW) in collaboration with Uka Tarsadia University in India.
Professor Mark Willcox from UNSW’s School of Optometry and Vision Science was integral to establishing the partnership which will investigate the use of contact lenses as drug delivery systems.
“We are delighted that the collaboration between UNSW and Uka Tarsadia University has been formalised and look forward to working together on research to develop therapeutic contact lenses that can help people in India, Australia and the world,” Prof. Willcox said.
Using contact lenses to deliver the drugs can overcome these problems and may be used to treat diseases such as glaucoma, dry eyes, conjunctivitis, myopia development and macular degeneration
“Ocular diseases are usually treated using eye drops, but unfortunately these often do not deliver enough drug or have the drug resident on the eye for long enough. Using contact lenses to deliver the drugs can overcome these problems and may be used to treat diseases such as glaucoma, dry eyes, conjunctivitis, myopia development and macular degeneration.”
The partnership involves staff and students from both universities going on exchange to work on the collaborative project. Academics will participate in research, co-supervise postgraduate students, and give lectures and tutorials in the research area. Students will have the opportunity to work alongside basic and clinical scientists in emerging areas of research in contact lenses, drug delivery and the ocular surface.
Dr Furqan Maulvi from Uka Tarsadia University’s Maliba Pharmacy College has published several key papers around contact lenses and drug delivery.
“I am excited and look forward to working with the team at UNSW to develop novel therapeutic contact lenses to treat various anterior and posterior eye diseases,” said Dr Maulvi.
Uka Tarsadia is a private university established in 2011. The affiliated Maliba Pharmacy College is the centre of collaboration with UNSW.
Dr Alex Hui from UNSW’s School of Optometry and Vision said, “The partnership will allow for complementary collaborations between engineers, pharmacists, optometrists and chemists. It comes at a critical time where research interest in managing diseases such as dry eye and myopia development is increasing both from clinicians and patients.”