A Golden Application for Macular Degeneration

A Golden Application for Macular Degeneration

Gold is sometimes used in technology or medicine due to its non-reactive property. It is one of the only metals that does not combine with oxygen, dissolve in acids or react with halogens like chlorine or bromine. This makes it very stable in a variety of applications including as an effective delivery system capable of transporting medicines when they would otherwise be unsafe to the body.

A study recently tested using gold nano-particles as a delivery system to apply directly to the eyes of patients afflicted with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) one of the major causes of vision loss. The findings are showing some promising results that may offer less pain and more treatment for those suffering from AMD and other vision problems.

The Nano Approach

Nanotechnology has been the cutting edge of science and manufacturing for several years now. These tiny particles (1000 times thinner than a human hair) are able to be manipulated in many ways including bending metals and applying transdermal creams or gels.

For access to parts of the body, such as the blood brain barrier, nano-technology has opened a whole new world in medicine. Now, it may be used in combating macular degeneration through a unique delivery system.

It Binds

It was found that when gold nano-particles were coated with special receptors, procedures such as laser irradiation were much more effective.

German researchers published their work on this in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2010, Vol.51, citing in their result,

“Light microscopy and electron microscopy demonstrated binding and intracellular uptake of coated nanoparticles. Immediately after laser irradiation no effect on cells in terms of cell death could be observed. However, 24h after irradiation a high amount of apoptotic cells could be found and proliferation was reduced. Laser treatment alone without nanoparticles showed no effect on viability and proliferation of neither pigment epithelial cells nor endothelial cells.”

It was therefore recommended that further lab studies include gold nanoparticle delivery systems for macular degeneration and other systemic conditions due to the significant findings.

Injection-Free Studies

There are a variety of ways AMD and other vision diseases can be treated including the painful and invasive procedure of many injections directly into the eye. Gold nano-particles may offer a whole new way to administer eye medicine without the need for injections.

Now Chinese and Australian researchers just released their findings regarding the delivery of AMD medicine via gold nano-particles filled with hydrogel.

BAAGH TV reports that,

“The research said that patients are commonly treated with monthly injections directly into their eyes. Chinese and Australian scientists have exposed that the new technology would help reducing the injections and it would also deliver drugs to the eye. In order to conduct their study, the scientists tested how gold nano-particles filled hydrogel reacted when exposed to light. They came to conclusion that the gel softened and released a sight-restoring drug when it warmed by only few degrees under the light. The process inverted when the light vanished, solidifying the gel and preventing the drug’s delivery.”

Another study cites how effective gold nano-particles are when radiation therapy is used. Published in Physics in Medicine and Biology (11/17/15),

“The prescribed dose to macular endothelial cells can be delivered using almost half of the radiation allowing reduction of dose to the neighboring organs such as retina/optic nerve by 49% when compared to a treatment without AuNP [gold nanoparticles].”

It is when science goes real big or real small that exciting results can occur. Nano-technology is a  wide open playing field of abundant opportunities to heal on a level beyond the imagination. Using the non-reactive quality of gold offers the possibility to not only transport synthetic macular degeneration medicines but maybe, someday, natural medicines as well.

Currently, the only recommended treatment for dry macular degeneration is macular degeneration vitamins.