Applications of Polymeric and Lipid Nanoparticles in Ophthalmic Pharmaceutical Formulations: Present and Future Considerations
The unique properties and characteristics of ocular tissues and the whole set of defence mechanisms of the ocular globe make the instillation of ocular drugs into a difficult task with a low rate of therapeutic response. One of the challenges for the new generation of ophthalmic pharmaceutical formulations is to increase the bioavailability of drugs administered by the ocular route and, therefore, their therapeutic efficacy. This can be achieved with the use of some strategies that provide an increase in the formulation pre-corneal residence time, mucoadhesion and penetration across the eye tissues. Colloidal carrier systems have been very successfully used for the selective and targeted delivery of drugs for several routes of administration. In this context, nanoparticles prepared with specific polymers or lipids and coated, dispersed or suspended in polymer solutions with mucoadhesion properties or in situ gelling properties will be an excellent strategy that deserves attention and further research. In this review, the characteristics and main properties of polymeric and lipid nanoparticles are discussed and examples and advantages of the application of these colloidal carrier systems for the ophthalmic administration of drugs are presented. The future directions of the research required in this specific field are also presented.
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