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      Novel vehicle based on cubosomes for ophthalmic delivery of flurbiprofen with low irritancy and high bioavailability


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          To develop a novel vehicle based on cubosomes as an ophthalmic drug delivery system for flurbiprofen (FB) to reduce ocular irritancy and improve bioavailability.


          FB-loaded cubosomes were prepared using hot and high-pressure homogenization. Cubosomes were then characterized by particle size, zeta potential, encapsulation efficiency, particle morphology, inner cubic structure and in vitro release. Corneal permeation was evaluated using modified Franz-type cells. Ocular irritation was then evaluated using both the Draize method and histological examination. The ocular pharmacokinetics of FB was determined using microdialysis.


          The particle size of each cubosome formulation was about 150 nm. A bicontinuous cubic phase of cubic P-type was determined using cryo-transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) observation and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) analysis. In vitro corneal permeation study revealed that FB formulated in cubosomes exhibited 2.5-fold (F1) and 2.0-fold (F2) increase in P app compared with FB PBS. In the ocular irritation test, irritation scores for each group were less than 2, indicating that all formulations exhibited excellent ocular tolerance. Histological examination revealed that neither the structure nor the integrity of the cornea was visibly affected after incubation with FB cubosomes. The AUC of FB administered as FB cubosome F2 was 486.36±38.93 ng·mL −1·min·μg −1, which was significantly higher than that of FB Na eye drops ( P<0.01). Compared with FB Na eye drops, the T max of FB cubosome F2 was about 1.6-fold higher and the MRT was also significantly longer ( P<0.001).


          This novel low-irritant vehicle based on cubosomes might be a promising system for effective ocular drug delivery.

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          Most cited references 31

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          Cubic lipid-water phases: structures and biomembrane aspects

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            Liposome coated with low molecular weight chitosan and its potential use in ocular drug delivery.

            In this study liposome coated with low molecular weight chitosan (LCH) was proposed and investigated its in vitro and in vivo properties, and its potential use in ocular drug delivery was evaluated. LCH with a molecular weight of 8kDa was prepared and coated on liposome loaded with diclofenac sodium. The LCH coating changed the liposome surface charge and slightly increased its particle size, while the drug encapsulation was not affected. After coating, the liposome displayed a prolonged in vitro drug release profile. LCH coated liposome also demonstrated an improved physicochemical stability at 25 degrees C in a 30-day storage period. The ocular bioadhesion property was evaluated by rabbit in vivo precorneal retention, and LCH coated liposome achieved a significantly prolonged retention compared with non-coated liposome or drug solution. The LCH coating also displayed a potential penetration enhancing effect for transcorneal delivery of the drug. In the ocular tolerance study, no irritation or toxicity was caused by continual administration of LCH coated liposome in a total period of 7 days. In conclusion, the LCH coating significantly modified the properties of liposome and brought a series of notable advantages for ocular drug delivery.
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              Topical Ocular Delivery of NSAIDs

              In ocular tissue, arachidonic acid is metabolized by cyclooxygenase to prostaglandins which are the most important lipid derived mediators of inflammation. Presently nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which are cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors are being used for the treatment of inflammatory disorders. NSAIDs used in ophthalmology, topically, are salicylic-, indole acetic-, aryl acetic-, aryl propionic- and enolic acid derivatives. NSAIDs are weak acids with pKa mostly between 3.5 and 4.5, and are poorly soluble in water. Aqueous ophthalmic solutions of NSAIDs have been made using sodium, potassium, tromethamine and lysine salts or complexing with cyclodextrins/solubilizer. Ocular penetration of NSAID demands an acidic ophthalmic solution where cyclodextrin could prevent precipitation of drug and minimize its ocular irritation potential. The incompatibility of NSAID with benzalkonium chloride is avoided by using polysorbate 80, cyclodextrins or tromethamine. Lysine salts and α-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol succinate disrupt corneal integrity, and their use requires caution. Thus a nonirritating ophthalmic solution of NSAID could be formulated by dissolving an appropriate water-soluble salt, in the presence of cyclodextrin or tromethamine (if needed) in mildly acidified purified water (if stability permits) with or without benzalkonium chloride and polyvinyl alcohol. Amide prodrugs met with mixed success due to incomplete intraocular hydrolysis. Suspension and ocular inserts appear irritating to the inflamed eye. Oil drop may be a suitable option for insoluble drugs and ointment may be used for sustained effect. Recent studies showed that the use of colloidal nanoparticle formulations and the potent COX 2 inhibitor bromfenac may enhance NSAID efficacy in eye preparations.

                Author and article information

                Acta Pharmacol Sin
                Acta Pharmacol. Sin
                Acta Pharmacologica Sinica
                Nature Publishing Group
                August 2010
                05 August 2010
                : 31
                : 8
                : 990-998
                [1 ]Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Shanghai 201203, China
                [2 ]School of Pharmacy, China Pharmaceutical University , Nanjing 210009, China
                [3 ]Wuhan Wuyao Science & Technology Co Ltd , Wuhan 430033, China
                Author notes

                These two authors contributed equally to this work.

                Copyright © 2010 CPS and SIMM
                Original Article


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