MAY 03, 2016
Scientists at Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter have developed a nanoparticle matrix for delivering lutein in an eye drop to potentially treat and prevent cataracts.
Previous studies have shown that supplementing a diet with high amounts of lutein can reduce the risk of cataracts. But previous attempts to deliver the nutrient directly to eye tissue were hindered by the hydrophobic molecule’s low solubility and absorption efficiency. Even if lutein does make it to the lens, it disintegrates quickly. The novel formulation developed by LSU enhances the stability and antioxidant properties of lutein with a nanoparticle matrix, allowing the pigment to be successfully dispersed through eye drops.
Professor Cristina Sabliov, who developed the matrix with assistant professor Carlos Astete, says the nano matrix enables direct accumulation of lutein from the drops to the lens, creating a long-lasting protective environment.
“This new product would have the unique advantage of both being able to prevent cataracts before they start or to treat cataracts after they form,” said Sabliov.