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Improved Ocular Bioavailability Of Indomethacin By Novel Ocular Drug Carriers

Pilar Calvo, María J Alonso, José L Vila-Jato, Joseph R Robinson

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Abstract The ability of different drug carriers to improve the ocular bioavailability of drugs was investigated in the rabbit eye. The assayed drug carriers were suspensions of nanoparticles, nanocapsules and microparticles made of poly-ε-caprolactone (PECL) and a submicron emulsion. Results indicated that the three submicron systems, nanoparticles, nanocapsules and emulsion, increased more than 3-fold the indomethacin concentration in the cornea, aqueous humour and iris-ciliary body at 0.5 and 1 h post-instillation. Furthermore, an increased indomethacin ocular bioavailability of 300% was observed after instillation of the submicron systems in comparison with the value obtained for a commercial solution. In contrast, the microparticles hardly increased the ocular bioavailability of indomethacin. The mechanism of interaction of the colloidal carriers with the corneal epithelium was investigated by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Confocal images indicated that submicron particles penetrate into the corneal epithelium cells by an endocytic mechanism. The similar behaviour of the three colloidal carriers suggests that any of their specific ingredients (PECL, lecithin and oil) acts as a penetration enhancer or an endocytotic stimulator. On the other hand, the favourable ocular penetration of indomethacin when encapsulated in the colloidal carriers, but not in the microparticles, led us to assume that the colloidal nature of these carriers is the main factor responsible for the increased ocular bioavailability of indomethacin. PECL nanoparticles and nanocapsules as well as submicron emulsions are shown to be novel corneal drug carriers, thus representing a useful approach for increasing the ocular bioavailability of drugs.