Design of ocular drug delivery platforms and in vitro - in vivo evaluation of riboflavin to the cornea by non-interventional (epi-on) technique for keratoconus treatment

AYTEKİN E. , ÖZTÜRK N., Vurla İ. , POLAT H. K. , Cakmak H. B. , ÇALIŞ S. , ...More

Journal of Controlled Release, vol.324, pp.238-249, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 324
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2020.05.017
  • Title of Journal : Journal of Controlled Release
  • Page Numbers: pp.238-249


© 2020 Elsevier B.V.Aim: Keratoconus is a common and progressive eye disease characterized by thinning and tapering of the cornea. This degenerative eye disease is currently treated in the clinic with an interventional technique (“epi-off”) that can cause serious side effects as a result of the surgical procedure. The aim of this project is to design innovative formulations for the development of a riboflavin-containing medicinal product to develop a non-invasive (“epi-on”) keratoconus treatment as an alternative to current treatment modalities. Methods: Nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs) were successfully loaded with either riboflavin base of riboflavin-5-phosphate sodium and designed with either Stearylamine (positive charge) or Trancutol P (permeation enhancer). In vitro characterization studies, cytotoxicity and permeability studies were performed. Selected formulations and commercial preparations were applied and compared in ex-vivo corneal drug accumulation and transition studies. Furthermore, in vivo studies were performed to assess drug accumulation in the rat cornea and the corneal stability after NLC treatment was investigated via a biomechanical study on isolated rabbit corneas. Results: Both in vitro and ex-vivo as well as in vivo data showed that from the prepared NLC formulations, the most effective formulation was riboflavin-5-phosphate sodium containing NLC with Transcutol P as permeation enhancer. It possessed the highest drug loading content, low accumulation in the cornea but high permeability through the cornea as well as the highest functional performance in corneal crosslinking. Conclusion: Topical application of riboflavin-5-phosphate sodium loaded NLC systems designed with permeation enhancer Transcutol P may act as a potential alternative for non-invasive keratoconus treatments.