I-Corps: Injectable Gel for Treating Diabetic Retinopathy.

Project: Research project

Project Details


The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project involves improvement in the standard of care for patients suffering from retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy. Vision loss or decline imposes a significant socio-economic burden on populations afflicted by these debilitating diseases. The proposed product aims to reduce the frequency of intraocular drug injections for treating these conditions, which may lead to improved patient compliance. Commercially, the product may replace current therapeutic approaches based on antibody technologies. The customer discovery and preparation of a business model canvas through the I-Corps program will determine a clear go/no-go decision for clinical translation of the product. Success of the business strategy may increase the well-being of millions of Americans suffering from diabetic retinopathy. The translation of the technology from the bench to the bedside would pave the way for market approval of peptide-based hydrogels in particular and implantable biomaterials in general.This I-Corps project would enable customer discovery and preparation of a business model canvas for the development of an anti-angiogenic hydrogel intended for the treatment of intraocular posterior segment diseases. The current standard-of-care, intraocular injections of inhibitors of vascular endothelial growth factor, cause patient discomfort and increased risk of infection due to the high frequency of dosage (monthly) required. The proposed product is a shear-responsive hydrogel, and thus it can be injected into the vitreous humor of the eye. The constituent peptide contains an anti-angiogenic domain and self-assembles in aqueous media into supramolecular nanofibers. The biological activity as well as the favorable material property of the product has led to the current I-Corps proposal. The proposed product may enhance technological understanding of the response of intraocular neovascularization to injectable anti-angiogenic hydrogels, facilitating future therapies.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Effective start/end date12/1/185/31/20


  • National Science Foundation: $50,000.00


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