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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008 Nov;49(11):4808-15. doi: 10.1167/iovs.08-2515. Epub 2008 Aug 8.

Mucoadhesive microdiscs engineered for ophthalmic drug delivery: effect of particle geometry and formulation on preocular residence time.

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School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Center for Drug Design, Development and Delivery, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0100, USA.



To test the hypothesis that mucoadhesive microdiscs formulated in a rapidly dissolving tablet can increase preocular residence time.


Microparticles smaller than 10 mum in diameter were fabricated by emulsification with poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) as a core material and, in some cases, poly(ethylene glycol) as a mucoadhesion promoter. To examine the effect of particle geometry, microparticles were also cut to have flat surfaces (i.e., microdiscs) and were compared with spherical particles (i.e., microspheres). In vitro mucoadhesion of microparticles was tested on a mucous layer under shear stress, mimicking the human blink. The resultant microparticles were also formulated in two dosage forms, an aqueous suspension and a dry tablet, to test the effect of formulation on the retention capacity of microparticles on the preocular space of rabbits in vivo.


Mucoadhesive microdiscs adhered better to the simulated ocular surface than did other types of microparticles. When a dry tablet embedded with mucoadhesive microdiscs was administered in the cul-de-sac of the rabbit eye in vivo, these microdiscs exhibited longer retention than the other formulations tested in this study. More than 40% and 17% of mucoadhesive microdiscs remained on the preocular surface at 10 minutes and 30 minutes after administration, respectively. Fluorescence images from the eye surface showed that mucoadhesive microdiscs remain for at least 1 hour in the lower fornix.


This study demonstrated that mucoadhesive microdiscs formulated in a dry tablet can achieve a prolonged residence time on the preocular surface and thus are a promising drug delivery system for ophthalmic applications.

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