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May 18th, 2009
Dr. Uday Kompella, a recently recruited professor at the University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy, is applying nanotechnology to the formulation of drugs for diabetic retinopathy, further establishing the Denver area as a leader in diabetes research. Nanoparticles are created by suffusing the solution of drug plus polymer with energy of a specific intensity and frequency. The polymer surrounds the drug to create the particle rather than mixing with the drug using the same principles that keep water and oil from mixing. Once the particles are created, the various solutes are removed by evaporative techniques and the particles are collected by high speed centrifugation. In effect, this creates long lasting tiny injectable pills. Once the drug is encapsulated in the polymer, the nanoparticles can then be further coated with a second molecule that targets the drug to a specific tissue. While this technique is still several years away from FDA approval, members of Dr. Kompella's team have successfully targeted drugs to the eyes of diabetic rats using these delivery systems.
"We are excited about the new drugs and delivery technologies that are under development to treat diabetic retinopathy. Also, we are equally excited about an unpublished observation of ours that exercise reduces a retinal factor responsible for capillary growth in diabetic retinopathy." Dr. Kompella stated.
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