Who: Nano-technology based treatment for Fungal keratitis
What: Developed by CCMB scientists
When: Announced on 26 September 2015
Scientists of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB)-Hyderabad on 26 September 2015 announced that they have developed a nano-particle-based drug delivery method to fight fungal keratitis.
However, the method was tested only on animal model systems so far and clinical trials are awaited.
The research team was led by the CCMB-Director Ch Mohan Rao.
What is Fungal Keratitis?
• In general terms, it means inflammation of cornea due to fungal infection.
• Under this condition, the fungi (Fusarium) reach the cornea and then release enzymes to breakdown and use its components as nutrients.
• It is a major eye disease that could lead to loss of vision if not treated in time.
• It is mostly prevalent in rural areas and the farming community is worst affected. For the fungi, sugar cane and paddy leaves are the most conducive habitat.
How the method works?
Under the method, specific enzymes were identified by scientists that are released by the pathogen and the host.
To counter those enzymes, smart polymer-based biocompatible nano particles were developed that carry the formulation and kill the fungus thus saving the destruction of cornea.
The success of the method will be of importance, as it could be replicated to treat other diseases like cancer.