- Gahlaut N, Suarez S, Uddin MI, Gordon AY, Evans SM, Jayagopal A. Nanoengineering of therapeutics for retinal vascular disease. European journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics : official journal of Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Pharmazeutische Verfahrenstechnik e.V. 2015 Sep;95(Pt B). 323-30. PMID: 26022642 [PubMed]. PMCID: PMC4604030. NIHMSID: NIHMS705012.
Retinal vascular diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, neovascular age related macular degeneration, and retinal vein occlusion, are leading causes of blindness in the Western world. These diseases share several common disease mechanisms, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling, hypoxia, and inflammation, which provide opportunities for common therapeutic strategies. Treatment of these diseases using laser therapy, anti-VEGF injections, and/or steroids has significantly improved clinical outcomes. However, these strategies do not address the underlying root causes of pathology, and may have deleterious side effects. Furthermore, many patients continue to progress toward legal blindness despite receiving regular therapy. Nanomedicine, the engineering of therapeutics at the 1-100 nm scale, is a promising approach for improving clinical management of retinal vascular diseases. Nanomedicine-based technologies have the potential to revolutionize the treatment of ophthalmology, through enabling sustained release of drugs over several months, reducing side effects due to specific targeting of dysfunctional cells, and interfacing with currently "undruggable" targets. We will discuss emerging nanomedicine-based applications for the treatment of complications associated with retinal vascular diseases, including angiogenesis and inflammation.