Nano Particles to treat eye infection
Scientists at the Hyderabad-based CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CSIR-CCMB) have developed a novel way to treat fungal keratitis
What is Keratitis?
- Keratitis is the inflammation of the eye
- It starts with redness and itching and might eventually lead to blindness
- Cause of infection
- Keratitis can be caused by both bacteria and fungi
- Fungi attach themselves to the cornea and release enzymes that break down the corneal proteins for their nutritional requirements
- In the process the cornea also gets inflamed
What are the effects of this disease?
- Corneal damage causes wound and scar formation leading to severe visual impairment
- It is estimated that about 30% of keratitis cases in India lead to blindness
- Treating keratitis infection is a challenge because it is difficult to maintain a therapeutic dose at the corneal surface for long periods as blinking and tear formation washes off the drug
How does nano-particle technique work?
- Certain antibodies get attached to the outer surface of the nanoparticles
- It anchors the nanoparticles to the corneal surface
- The infected cornea expresses a set of receptors (TLR4) when infection sets in
- The team has used antibodies to these receptors to anchor the nanoparticles to the cornea
- In case of severe infection, more receptors are expressed on the cornea and more nanoparticles get bound to the receptors
- Since they are bound, the residence time in the eye is long
- Neither blinking nor tear formation washes off the nanoparticles