Dexamethasone-loaded poly(epsilon-caprolactone)intravitreal implants: a pilot study

Author(s): Fialho SL, Behar-Cohen F,Silva-Cunha A

Abstract

Purpose: Poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) is a biodegradable and biocompatible polymer that presents a very low degradation rate, making it suitable for the development of long-term drug delivery systems. The objective of this pilot study is to evaluate the feasibility and characteristics of PCL devices in the prolonged and controlled intravitreous release of dexamethasone. Methods: The in vitro release of dexamethasone was investigated and the implant degradation was monitored by the percent of mass loss and by changes in the surface morphology. Differential scanning calorimetry was used to evaluate stability and interaction of the implant and the drug. The short-term tolerance of the implants was studied after intravitreous implantation in rabbit eye. Results: PCL implant allows for a controlled and prolonged delivery of dexamethasone since it releases 25% of the drug in 21 weeks. Its low degradation rate was confirmed by the mass loss and scanning electron microscopy studies. Preliminary observations show that PCL intravitreous implants are very well tolerated in the rabbit eye. Conclusion: This study demonstrates the PCL drug delivery systems allowed to a prolonged release of dexamethasone in vitro. The implants demonstrated a strikingly good intraocular short-term tolerance in rabbits eyes. The in vitro and preliminary in vivo studies tend to show that PCL implants could be of interest when long-term sustained intraocular delivery of corticosteroids is required.

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