C. Ross Ethier, PhD – Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Hans E. Grossniklaus, MD – Department of Ophthalmology, Emory University
Frank L. Hammond III, PhD – Department of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
DEVELOPMENT OF A DEVICE FOR SUBCONJUNCTIVAL DRUG DELIVERY
Subconjunctival (SC) injections have been widely used by ophthalmologists to locally administer various therapeutic agents to the eye (e.g., steroids, antibiotics, and anesthetics). Periocular delivery methods are often more effective than commonly prescribed topical eye drops, improving drug pharmacokinetics and circumventing patient noncompliance. However, the practice of SC delivery is limited by current techniques, which are based on century-old technology and require surgically-trained experts.
The demand for SC injections will rapidly grow in the future due to increasing disease incidence, an aging population, and the imminent approvals of sustained release formulations. To meet this clinical need, this work focuses on the development of a device for SC drug delivery that can be used by eye care providers of only moderate skill and training. Specifically, this thesis comprises the: (i) conception of an aspiration-based SC injection device; (ii) development of a bench testing setup, including novel measures of device performance; and (iii) evaluation and optimization of said device through ex vivo testing in enucleated rabbit and porcine eyes.