Methods and Devices to prevent age-related macular degeneration

Scleral iontophoresis of lutein


Vision Engineering Italy has developed a novel prevention strategy of macular degeneration

Vision Engineering Italy has developed a medical device for delivering lutein into the retina with the aim of preventing the progression of macular degeneration, which is the primary cause of vision loss in the elderly.

Macular degeneration

Macular degeneration is a disease of the macula, the central area of ​​the retina, which is responsible for clear vision. The term indicates a set of degenerative diseases that have various causes (aging, myopia, genetics). Age-related macular degeneration is the most frequent cause of severe vision loss in senile age.

Current Therapies

Current therapies of macular degenerations include oral supplementation with carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin. The “AREDS” clinical studies have shown that lutein supplementation significantly prevents and reduces the risk of progression of macular degeneration to advanced stages. The disadvantage of current preventive therapy is that it is necessary to take lutein pills every day for decades.In the event that macular degeneration evolves towards the "exudative" form, it is possible to treat is with intravitreal injections of anti-angiogenic drugs. The use of photodynamic therapy or laser photocoagulation is not so frequent as in the past.

Our project

Vision Engineering Italy has developed an innovative method for delivering lutein directly to the macula. The method employs scleral iontophoresis, takes 4 minutes and can be performed by the eye doctor in his own clinic. It can be repeated over time in order to guarantee an adequate supply of lutein to the retina. The results of pre-clinical studies were published in the February 2018 issue of the Journal of Biophotonics. A pilot clinical study is ongoing on patients with age-related macular degeneration.