Using decorin to help the eye heal

University of Birmingham lecturer Dr Lisa Hill discussed work to develop an eye drop for reducing corneal scarring at 100% Optical

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A common food ingredient that is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could be the missing link in a new approach to corneal healing.

University of Birmingham lecturer, Dr Lisa Hill, shared the benefits of using gellan gum in eye drops during her 100% Optical presentation Revolutionising treatments for ocular surface scarring.  

Dr Hill highlighted that gellan gum eye drops can be combined with the anti-scarring agent, decorin, to reduce corneal surface scarring.

Experiments in mice revealed a surprising finding – that the gellan gum eye drop alone aids ocular healing.

“We were using the fluid gel as a delivery mechanism but the fluid gel on its own was having an effect,” Dr Hill said.

The addition of gellan gum to the eye drops helps the gel to sit on the surface of the eye for longer, slowly releasing decorin.

Early experiments found that decorin was released over a four-hour period, with an initial burst over the first hour.

A clinical trial investigating the effectiveness of the eye drop in treating patients with bacterial keratitis is due to commence at the end of this year.

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