Hyaluronic acid-based gold nanoparticles for the topical delivery of therapeutics to the retina and the retinal pigment epithelium

Amine Laradji, Bedia B. Karakocak, Alexander V. Kolesnikov, Vladimir J. Kefalov, Nathan Ravi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The ocular immune privilege is a phenomenon brought about by anatomical and physi-ological barriers to shield the eye from immune and inflammation responses. While this phenomenon is beneficial for eyes protection, it is, at the same time, a hindrance for drug delivery to the posterior segment of the eye to treat retinal diseases. Some ocular barriers can be bypassed by in-travitreal injections, but these are associated with several side effects and patient noncompliance, especially when frequent injections are required. As an alternative, applying drugs as an eye drop is preferred due to the safety and ease. This study investigated the possible use of topically-applied hyaluronic acid-coated gold nanoparticles as drug delivery vehicles to the back of the eye. The coated gold nanoparticles were topically applied to mouse eyes, and results were compared to topically applied uncoated gold nanoparticles and phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) solution. Retina sections from these mice were then analyzed using fluorescence microscopy, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). All characterization techniques used in this study suggest that hyaluronic acid-coated gold nanoparticles have higher distribution in the posterior segment of the eye than uncoated gold nanoparticles. Electroretinogram (ERG) analysis revealed that the visual function of mice receiving the coated gold nanoparticles was not affected, and these nanoparticles can, therefore, be applied safely. To-gether, our results suggest that hyaluronic acid-coated gold nanoparticles constitute potential drug delivery vehicles to the retina when applied noninvasively as an eye drop.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3324
JournalPolymers
Volume13
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021

Keywords

  • Biocompatibility
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
  • Ocular drug deliv-ery
  • Retina
  • Retinal diseases
  • Retinal pigment epithelium
  • Surface functionalization
  • Transmission electron microscopy

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