Polymer-phospholipid complexes for the solubilisation and delivery of drugs to the eye

V. Saez-Martinez, B.J. Tighe

Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstractpeer-review


Aim: Topical application of ophthalmic drugs is very inefficient; contact lenses used as drug delivery devices could minimize the drug loss and side effects. Styrene-maleic acid copolymers (PSMA) can form polymer-phospholipid complexes with dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DMPC) in the form of nanometric vesicles, which can easily solubilise hydrophobic drugs. They can be dispersed on very thin contact lens coatings to immobilize the drug on their surface.
Methods: Two types of complexes stable at different pH values (5 and 7 respectively) where synthesized and loaded with drugs of different hydrophilicities during their formation process. The drug release was studied in vitro and compared to the free drug.
Results: The mean sizes of the complexes obtained by light scattering were 50 nm and 450 nm respectively with low polydispersities. However, they were affected by the drugs load and release. An increase was observed in the duration of the release in the case of hydrophobic drugs, from days to weeks, avoiding initial “burst” and with a lesser amount of total drug released due to the interaction of the drug with the phospholipid core. The size and charge of the different drugs and the complexes nature also affected the release profile.
Conclusions: Polymer-phospholipid complexes in the form of nanoparticles can be used to solubilise and release hydrophobic drugs in a controlled way. The drug load and release can be optimised to reach therapeutic values in the eye.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberO92
Pages (from-to)602
Number of pages1
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014
EventXLI ESAO annual congress - Rome, Italy
Duration: 17 Sept 201420 Sept 2014


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