Intravitreal injections are clinically established procedures in the treatment of posterior eye diseases, such as wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) which requires monthly intravitreal injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) protein drugs that can lead to complications due to frequent dosing. In this study, we designed a composite drug delivery system (DDS) consisting of drug-loaded poly (lactide–co–glycolide) (PLGA) nanoparticles and a chemically crosslinked hyaluronan hydrogel to reduce the dosing frequency. The morphology, size, composition, and drug loading efficiency of the prepared nanoparticles were characterized. The properties of the modified hyaluronan polymers used were also examined. The degree of swelling/degradation and controlled release ability of the hyaluronan hydrogel and the composite DDS were identified using bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a model drug. The results show that this system can retain 75% of its wet weight without losing its integrity and release the model drug at the rate of 0.4 µg/day for more than two months under physiological conditions. In addition, the nanoparticulate formulation of the system can further improve bioavailability of the drugs by penetrating deep into the retinal layers. In conclusion, the proposed composite DDS is easily prepared with biocompatible materials and is promising for providing the sustained release of the protein drugs as a better treatment for ocular neovascular diseases like wet AMD.
- Composite drug delivery system
- Injectable hydrogel
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Polymers and Plastics