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Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2005 Jul;60(2):207-25.

Cell culture models of the ocular barriers.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland.


The presence of tight barriers, which regulate the environment of ocular tissues in the anterior and posterior part of the eye, is essential for normal visual function. The development of strategies to overcome these barriers for the targeted ocular delivery of drugs, e.g. to the retina, remains a major challenge. During the last years numerous cell culture models of the ocular barriers (cornea, conjunctiva, blood-retinal barrier) have been established. They are considered to be promising tools for studying the drug transport into ocular tissues, and for numerous other purposes, such as the investigation of pathological ocular conditions, and the toxicological screening of compounds as alternative to in vivo toxicity tests. The further development of these in vitro models will require more detailed investigations of the barrier properties of both the cell culture models and the in vivo ocular barriers. It is the aim of this review to describe the current status in the development of cell culture models of the ocular barriers, and to discuss the applicability of these models in pharmaceutical research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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