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Translating Polymer Engineering to Treatment of Ocular Diseases

Translating Polymer Engineering to Treatment of Ocular Diseases

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MS Team


Polymers have successfully been used in ophthalmology for decades, most notably in intraocular lenses and contact lenses. The properties of polymeric systems (e.g. biocompatibility, transparency, wettability) make them good candidates for biomimetic replacements of various ocular tissues. We design amphiphilic polymer films, injectable hydrogels, micro- and nano-devices, and electrospun materials for use in ophthalmic prosthesis and drug delivery. We are currently exploring the design of polymers to replace the crystalline lens after cataract surgery and vitreous humor after vitrectomy. One focus area of our research is exploring the impact of mechanical properties, surface chemistry, and surface topography on cellular response to polymeric materials designed for intraocular lenses. Our lab also studies the biochemical, mechanical, and optical properties of the vitreous humor to design biomimetic replacement materials. We are also using polymer processing techniques to fabricate intraocular drug delivery systems for sustained release of therapeutics to treat retinal diseases and optic neuropathy.

Katelyn Swindle-Reilly, Ph.D


Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Science, The Ohio State University

Katelyn Swindle-Reilly, Ph.D., completed a B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology in 2004. She received her M.S. in Chemical Engineering in 2006 and Ph.D. in Energy, Environmental, and Chemical Engineering in 2008 from Washington University in St. Louis. Her dissertation research resulted in the development of an injectable biomimetic vitreous substitute. She completed postdoctoral training in Biomedical Engineering at Saint Louis University where she developed scaffolds for peripheral nerve regeneration. After completing her postdoctoral training, Dr. Swindle-Reilly worked as a Senior Scientist at Rochal Industries LLC where she researched and developed several patented and FDA approved wound care products. She concurrently taught in Biomedical Engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio. She joined The Ohio State University as Assistant Professor in 2016. Her current research interests focus on the design of polymeric biomaterials for soft tissue repair and drug delivery with focused applications in ophthalmology. Dr. Swindle-Reilly is also serving as Chief Technology Officer for Vitranu, Inc., a startup company that licensed several of the ocular drug delivery technologies developed at Ohio State.