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Bioactive lipids at the ocular surface: from Langmuir surface balance to ophthalmic nanoemulsions


Since 2012 the interest to the studies of the tear film lipid layer (TFLL) stabilizing the air/tear surface has dramatically raised. Firstly TFLL related abnormalities may be the main reason for dry eye syndrome (DES), the most prevalent ophthalmic public health disease affecting the quality of life of 10-30% of the human population worldwide and resulting in > €3.5 billion annual cost for EU. Secondly due to TFLL exceptionally slow turnover rate of 0.93 (±0.36)%/min, ophthalmic nanoemulsions mixing favorably with it can gain long residence at the ocular surface allowing for new routes of treatment not only of DES but also of glaucoma, the major vision threatening disease today. Therefore it is important to study the impact of key lipid classes to the micro- and nano-scale structure and to the dynamic surface properties of TFLL films at the air/water interface in health and disease and in vitro and vivo. This is what we will do by employing state of the art Langmuir surface balance, dilatational rheology, fluorescence and Brewster angle microscopy techniques as well as pharmacokinetic methodologies. The action will deliver both, (i) fundamental knowledge on TFLL functionality and DES mechanisms and (ii) molecules and formulations that can enhance TFLL functionality and lead to new therapies. The action will allow to European science and industry to aim for leadership in a field of increasing social importance.

Field of science

  • /medical and health sciences/health sciences/public and environmental health
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/lipids
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/ophthalmology/glaucoma

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF


Avenida Rovisco Pais 1
1049-001 Lisboa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 159 815,04