New device "can treat diabetes-related vision loss"

New device "can treat diabetes-related vision loss"

A drug delivery device has been developed which may help to treat people suffering from diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of vision loss among patients with diabetes.

Experts from the University of British Columbia have developed the device, which can be implanted behind the eye for controlled and on-demand release of drugs to treat retinal damage caused by the condition.

The lead author, mechanical engineering associate professor Mu Chiao, said he wanted to come up with a "safe and effective" way to help diabetic patients safeguard their sight.

"Technologies available now are either battery operated and are too large for treating the eye, or they rely on diffusion, which means drug release rates cannot be stopped once the device is implanted - a problem when patients" conditions change," he explained.

It is hoped the device will help to change this by offering a safer and more successful means of treatment.

According to Diabets.org.uk, retinopathy is the most common cause of blindness among people of working age in the UK.

by Martin Burns

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