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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3-8

Applications of polymers in intraocular drug delivery systems


Department of Surgery, Division of Ophthalmology, Security Forces Hospital, Riyadh 11481, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Ali Mohammed Alhalafi
Department of Surgery, Division of Ophthalmology, Security Forces Hospital, P. O. Box: 3643, Riyadh 11481
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-620X.200692

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We are entering a new era of ophthalmic pharmacology where new drugs are rapidly being developed for the treatment of anterior and posterior segment of the eye disease. The pharmacokinetics of drug delivery to the eye remains a very active area of ophthalmic research. Intraocular drug delivery systems allow the release of the drug, bypassing the blood–ocular barrier. The main advantage of these preparations is that they can release the drug over a long time with one single administration. These pharmaceutical systems are of great important in the treatment of the posterior segment diseases, and they can be prepared from biodegradable or nonbiodegradable polymers. Biodegradable polymers have the advantage of disappearing from the site of action after releasing the drug. The majority of intraocular devices are prepared from nonbiodegradable polymers, and they can release controlled amounts of drugs for months. Nonbiodegradable polymers include silicone, polyvinyl alcohol, and ethylene-vinyl acetate. The polymers usually employed to prepare nanoparticles for the topical ophthalmic route are poly (acrylic acid) derivatives (polyalquilcyanocrylates), albumin, poly-μ-caprolactone, and chitosan. Dendrimers are a recent class of polymeric materials with unique nanostructure which has been studied to discover their role in the delivery of therapeutics and imaging agents. Hydrogels are polymers that can swell in aqueous solvent system, and they hold the solvents in a swollen cross-linked gel for delivery. This review exhibits the current literature regarding applications of polymers in ophthalmic drug delivery systems including pharmacokinetics, advantages, disadvantages, and indications aimed to obtain successful eye therapy. Method of Literature Search: A systematic literature review was performed using PubMed databases into two steps. The first step was oriented to classification of intraocular polymers implants focusing on their advantages and disadvantages. The second step was focused on the role of polymers therapy for intraocular pathology with clinical examples. The search strategy was not limited by year of publication.


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