Nanotechnology makes quantum leap into eye drops

Tiny particles found in televisions and tablets could be used to provide relief from eye infections

11 Jul 2017 by Selina Powell

Alcon Systane advertResearchers are investigating the use of tiny particles found in the latest electronic displays to fight eye infections. 

Quantum dots are small semiconductor particles that are a key component in nanotechnology. 

A new study, published in ACS Nano, reported on the use of quantum dots as an ingredient in eye drops for the treatment of bacterial keratitis.

Researchers manufactured quantum dots by heating spermidine, a compound that boosts the effectiveness of antibiotics. 

They found that the quantum dots disrupted bacterial cells while leaving animal cells unscathed.

The authors conclude that the new quantum dots are a potential alternative to conventional eye drop treatments for bacterial keratitis. 

Current treatments for the eye infection include steroid drops, but these can result in scarring of the cornea. 

Image credit: Antipoff

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