New strategy to overcome the intrinsic difficulty of phospholipids solubilisation and delivery to the eye

Virginia Saez-Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstractpeer-review


Purpose: Lipids play a vital role at interfaces such as the tear film in the protection of the anterior eye. Their role is to act as lubricants and reduce surface and interfacial tension. Although there is a lack of appropriate methods to solubilize and dilute phospholipids to the tear film. Here, we report that styrene-maleic acid copolymers (PSMA), can form polymer–lipid complexes in the form of monodisperse nanometric particles, which can easily solubilise these phospholipid molecules by avoiding for example, the use of any kind of surfactant.
Method: The interactions of PSMA with phospholipids have been studied by its adsorption from aqueous solutions into monolayers of dimyristoyl-phosphorylcholine (DMPC). The Langmuir trough (LT) technique is used to study this pH-dependant complex formation. The formed nanoparticles have been also analysed by 31P NMR, particle size distribution by light scattering (DLS) and morphology by electron microscopy (SEM).
Results: The LT has been found to be a useful technique for in vitro simulation of in vivo lipid layer behaviour: The limiting surface pressure of unstable tear films ranges between 20 and 30 mN/m. More stable tear films show an increase in surface pressure, within the range of 35–45 mN/m. The DMPC monolayers have a limiting surface pressure of 38 mN/m (water), and 45 mN/m (pH 4 buffer), and the PSMA-DMPC complexes formed at pH 4 have a value of 42 mN/m, which resembles that of the stable tear film. The average particle size distribution is 53 ± 10 nm with a low polydispersity index (PDI) of 0.24 ± 0.03.
Conclusions: New biocompatible and cheap lipid solubilising agents such as PSMA can be used for the study of the tear film composition and properties. These polymer–lipid complexes in the form of nanoparticles can be used to solubilise and release in a controlled way other hydrophobic molecules such as some drugs or proteins.
Original languageEnglish
Article number48
Pages (from-to)e32
Number of pages1
JournalContact Lens and Anterior Eye
Issue numbersupp.1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventBritish Contact Lens Association (BCLA) clinical conference and exhibition - ICC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Jun 20149 Jun 2014

Bibliographical note

BCLA Abstract Book 2014


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