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Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2007 Jul;4(4):371-88.

Novel approaches to retinal drug delivery.

Author information

1
University of Missouri-Kansas City, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, 5005 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA.

Abstract

Research into treatment modalities affecting vision is rapidly progressing due to the high incidence of diseases such as diabetic macular edema, proliferative vitreoretinopathy, wet and dry age-related macular degeneration and cytomegalovirus retinitis. The unique anatomy and physiology of eye offers many challenges to developing effective retinal drug delivery systems. Historically, drugs have been administered to the eye as liquid drops instilled in the cul-de-sac. However retinal drug delivery is a challenging area. The transport of molecules between the vitreous/retina and systemic circulation is restricted by the blood-retinal barrier, which is made up of retinal pigment epithelium and endothelial cells of the retinal blood vessels. An increase in the understanding of drug absorption mechanisms into the retina from local and systemic administration has led to the development of various drug delivery systems, such as biodegradable and non-biodegradable implants, microspheres, nanoparticles and liposomes, gels and transporter-targeted prodrugs. Such diversity in approaches is an indication that there is still a need for an optimized noninvasive or minimally invasive drug delivery system to the eye. A number of large molecular weight compounds (i.e., oligonucleotides, RNA aptamers, peptides and monoclonal antibodies) have been and continue to be introduced as new therapeutic entities. However, for high molecular weight polar compounds the mechanism of epithelial transport is primarily through the tight junctions in the retinal pigment epithelium, as these agents undergo limited transcellular diffusion. Delivery and administration of these new drugs in a safe and effective manner is still a major challenge facing pharmaceutical scientists. In this review article, the authors discuss various drug delivery strategies, devices and challenges associated with drug delivery to the retina.

PMID:
17683251
DOI:
10.1517/17425247.4.4.371
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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