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Diogo Sousa-Martins, Sara Sousa, Joana Duarte, Marta Monteiro; LUTEIN REACHES THE RETINA FOLLOWING IONTOPHORESIS APPLICATION. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):106.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of blindness worldwide, and presently none of the available solutions is able to effectively treat the disease or prevent its progression. In this study, we report a novel technology to address this unmet medical need aiming to prevent the progression of dry-AMD from its early stages. Disease development is associated with decreased macular concentration of lutein, a carotenoid acquired in the diet that naturally incorporates the retina, where it exerts antioxidant and photoprotective effect, thereby reducing phototoxicity.
We used a non-invasive technique named iontophoresis to deliver lutein to the posterior retina. Fourteen pigmented rabbits received lutein by iontophoresis in one eye applying a current of 20 mA. Contralateral control eyes were treated similarly, but without any current application. After the iontophoresis of lutein, ocular tissues were collected and lutein delivery to the macula was assessed.
Evaluation of ocular tissues revealed that iontophoresis is an effective technique for intraocular delivery of lutein.
Being a non-invasive procedure, iontophoresis has the advantage of having a good safety profile, as it avoids the complications resulting from surgical implantations or frequent and high dose intravitreal injections, leading to higher patient compliance. Another advantage of iontophoresis is it can be performed by all ophthalmologists during normal eye care appointments, with no need for a surgery environment. In conclusion, this work demonstrates for the first time the possibility of delivering lutein to the posterior segment of the eye, more precisely to the macular area. Due to lutein intrinsic blue-light filtering properties, this new technology promises to be an effective alternative to prevent AMD and/or delay disease progression.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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