Improved Ophthalmic Administration of Drugs

Life Sciences : Medical Devices

Available for licensing


  • Hugh Smyth , College of Pharmacy
  • Matthew Herpin , Health Outcomes and Pharmacy Practice

Background/unmet need

Administration of ophthalmic medication is most commonly performed through the use of ocular drops, or in rare cases an aerosol plume. This application triggers the reflex to immediately blink the eye, which often removes the majority of the medication. Additionally, lacrimal clearance is stimulated, which can cause the patient to lose even more of the medication. In addition to causing general patient discomfort, this results in difficulty administering the correct dosage of medication.  

Invention Description

UT Austin researchers have developed a novel technique for the administration of ophthalmic drugs. Using this device, drugs can be delivered to the eye and other mucosal membranes using a controlled "puff" in the form of a toroidal vortex, much like a smoke ring. Medication can be gently applied to existing lacrimal fluid, avoiding stimulation of lacrimal clearance and irritation of the eye. The device dimensions can be fine tuned to accurately administer very small volumes of a variety of medicinal agents.


  • Accurate dosage administration of ophthalmic drugs and treatments
  • Improved comfort of administration and less irritation of the eye
  • Easy to use administration, ideal for pediatric and geriatric use
  • Administration of a wide variety of drugs, including both liquid and powder


  • Unique toroidal geometry of aerosol delivery
  • Accurate administration of eye medication
  • Tunability of device to adjust dosage parameters
  • Compatibility with a wide variety of drugs

Market potential/applications

Specialty ophthalmic companies or pharmaceutical companies interested in an improved method of drug delivery to mucosal membranes.  

Development Stage

Lab/bench prototype

IP Status