Optically-triggered Drug Delivery
Intraocular injections allow pharmacologic agents to be delivered to retinal tissues, but the treatment is invasive and may exert nonspecific effects on healthy tissues. Our laboratory is collaborating with scientists who employ nanotechnology in cancer research to develop nanoparticles that can be activated in the eye using external light. By encapsulating a small-molecule compound that is only released with specific wavelengths of light, we can employ ocular imaging technologies such as scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (SLO) to trigger focal light-activated drug delivery with precise spatial and temporal control. We collaborate with UC Davis bioengineers to employ a custom multimodal mouse imaging system (called the “EyePod”) to control and observe drug delivery in vivo.