Stability and ocular biodistribution of topically administered PLGA nanoparticles

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Polymeric nanoparticles have been investigated as potential delivery systems for therapeutic compounds to address many ailments including eye disease. The stability and spatiotemporal distribution of polymeric nanoparticles in the eye are important regarding the practical applicability and efficacy of the delivery system in treating eye disease. We selected poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles loaded with lutein, a carotenoid antioxidant associated with eye health, as our model ophthalmic nanodelivery system and evaluated its stability when suspended in various conditions involving temperature and light exposure. We also assessed the ocular biodistribution of the fluorescently labeled nanoparticle vehicle when administered topically. Lutein-loaded nanoparticles were stable in suspension when stored at 4 °C with only 26% lutein release and no significant lutein decay or changes in nanoparticle morphology. When stored at 25 °C and 37 °C, these NPs showed signs of bulk degradation, had significant lutein decay compared to 4 °C, and released over 40% lutein after 5 weeks in suspension. Lutein-loaded nanoparticles were also more resistant to photodegradation compared to free lutein when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, decaying approximately 5 times slower. When applied topically in vivo, Cy5-labled nanoparticles showed high uptake in exterior eye tissues including the cornea, episcleral tissue, and sclera. The choroid was the only inner eye tissue that was significantly higher than the control group. Decreased fluorescence in all exterior eye tissues and the choroid at 1 h compared to 30 min indicated rapid elimination of nanoparticles from the eye.

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Scientific reports

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