Ocular drug delivery has been a major challenge for clinical pharmacologists and biomaterial scientists due to intricate and unique anatomical and physiological barriers in the eye. The critical requirement varies from anterior and posterior ocular segments from a drug delivery perspective. Recently, many new drugs with special formulations have been introduced for targeted delivery with modified methods and routes of drug administration to improve drug delivery efficacy. Current developments in nanoformulations of drug carrier systems have become a promising attribute to enhance drug retention/permeation and prolong drug release in ocular tissue. Biodegradable polymers have been explored as the base polymers to prepare nanocarriers for encasing existing drugs to enhance the therapeutic effect with better tissue adherence, prolonged drug action, improved bioavailability, decreased toxicity, and targeted delivery in eye. In this review, we summarized recent studies on sustained ocular drug/gene delivery and emphasized on the nanocarriers made by biodegradable polymers such as liposome, poly lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA), chitosan, and gelatin. Moreover, we discussed the bio-distribution of these nanocarriers in the ocular tissue and their therapeutic applications in various ocular diseases.
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