The purpose of this review is to discuss the evolution of nanotechnology and its potential diagnostic and therapeutic applications in the field of ophthalmology, particularly as it pertains to glaucoma. We reviewed literature using MEDLINE and PubMed databases with the following search terms: glaucoma, nanotechnology, nanomedicine, nanoparticles, ophthalmology and liposomes. We also reviewed pertinent references from articles found in this search. A brief history of nanotechnology and nanomedicine will be covered, followed by a discussion of the advantages and concerns of using this technology in the field of glaucoma. We will look at various studies concerning the development of nanomedicine, its potential applications in ocular drug delivery, diagnostic and imaging modalities and, surgical techniques. In particular, the challenges of assuring safety and efficacy of nanomedicine will be examined. We conclude that nanotechnology offers a novel approach to expanding diagnostic, imaging and surgical modalities in glaucoma and may contribute to the knowledge of disease pathogenesis at a molecular level. However, more research is needed to better elucidate the mechanism of cellular entry, the potential for nanoparticle cytotoxicity and the assurance of clinical efficacy.
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