Chitosan Nanoparticles as a Mucoadhesive Drug Delivery System for Ocular Administration


Pharmaceutical approaches based on nanotechnologies and the development of eye drops composed of the mucoadhesive polymers chitosan and hyaluronic acid are emerging strategies for the efficient treatment of ocular diseases. These innovative nanoparticulate systems aim to increase drugs’ bioavailability at the ocular surface. For the successful development of these systems, the evaluation of mucoahesiveness (the interaction between the ocular delivery system and mucins present on the eye) is of utmost importance. In this context, the aim of the present work was to investigate the mucoadhesivity of a novel nanoparticle eye drop formulation containing an antibiotic (ceftazidime) intended to treat eye infections. Eye drop formulations comprised a polymer (hydroxypropyl) methyl cellulose (HPMC) 0.75% (w/v) in an isotonic solution incorporating chitosan/sodium tripolyphosphate (TPP)-hyaluronic acid-based nanoparticles containing ceftazidime. The viscosity of the nanoparticles, and the gels incorporating the nanoparticles were characterized in contact with mucin at different mass ratios, allowing the calculation of the rheological synergism parameter (∆η). Results showed that at different nanoparticle eye formulation:mucin weight ratios, a minimum in viscosity occurred which resulted in a negative rheological synergism. Additionally, the results highlighted the mucoadhesivity of the novel ocular formulation and its ability to interact with the ocular surface, thus increasing the drug residence time in the eye. Moreover, the in vitro release and permeation studies showed a prolonged drug release profile from the chitosan/TPP-hyaluronic acid nanoparticles gel formulation. Furthermore, the gel formulations were not cytotoxic on ARPE-19 and HEK293T cell lines, evaluated by the metabolic and membrane integrity tests. The formulation was stable and the drug active, as shown by microbiological studies. In conclusion, chitosan/TPP-hyaluronic acid nanoparticle eye drop formulations are a promising platform for ocular drug delivery with enhanced mucoadhesive properties. 



To our knowledge, this is the first time that mucoadhesive CS/TPP/HA NP were prepared to encapsulate CFT for the treatment of serious eye infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, such as bacterial keratitis. The developed NP presented physicochemical and pharmaceutical characteristics suitable for topical ocular administration, while preserving the antimicrobial activity of CFT. In addition, the nanoformulation presented relevant mucoadhesive properties, interacting with mucin, which is desirable to improve the absorption and effectiveness of the antibiotics. This NP arises as a promising drug delivery system for topical opthalmic antibiotic therapy, increasing drug residence in the eye.


Mariana M. Silva 1, Raquel Calado 1, Joana Marto 1,2, Ana Bettencourt 1, António J. Almeida 1 and Lídia M. D. Gonçalves 1,* OrcID
1 Research Institute for Medicines (iMed.ULisboa), Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-003 Lisbon, Portugal
2 Laboratório Edil, Produtos Farmacêuticos S.A., 2795-225 Linda-a-Velha, Portugal
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(12), 370; doi:10.3390/md15120370
Chitosan Nanoparticles as a Mucoadhesive
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Photo of Person using a Ocular Drug Delivery

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