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Int J Pharm. 2011 Feb 14;404(1-2):211-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2010.11.006. Epub 2010 Nov 12.

Inner ear biocompatibility of lipid nanocapsules after round window membrane application.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, University of Tampere, Medical School, FM1, 3rd Floor, Biokatu 6, 33520 Tampere, Finland.


Nanoparticle-mediated drug delivery represents the future in terms of treating inner ear diseases. Lipid core nanocapsules (LNCs), 50 nm in size, were shown to pass though the round window membrane (RWM) and reached the spiral ganglion cells and nerve fibers, among other cell types in the inner ear. The present study aimed to evaluate the toxicity of the LNCs in vitro and in vivo, utilizing intact round window membrane delivery in rats. The primary cochlear cells and mouse fibroblast cells treated with LNCs displayed dosage dependant toxicity. In vivo study showed that administration of LNCs did not cause hearing loss, nanoparticle application-related cell death, or morphological changes in the inner ear, at up to 28 days of observation. The cochlear neural elements, such as synaptophysin, ribbon synapses, and S-100, were not affected by the administration of LNCs. However, expression of neurofilament-200 decreased in SGCs and in cochlear nerve in osseous spiral lamina canal after LNC delivery, a phenomenon that requires further investigation. LNCs are potential vectors for the delivery of drugs to the inner ear.

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