Distribution of fluorescein sodium and triamcinolone acetonide in the simulated liquefied and vitrectomized Vitreous Model with simulated eye movements

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Intravitreal administration is the method of choice for drug delivery to the posterior segment of the eye with special emphasis on the vitreous body and its surrounding retinal vasculature. In order to gain a better understanding of the underlying distribution processes, an in vitro model simulating the vitreous body (Vitreous Model, VM) and a system simulating the impact of movement on the VM (Eye Movement System, EyeMoS) was previously developed. In the study reported here, these systems were modified in regard to a standardized injection procedure, the diversity of simulated eye movements, extended periods of investigation, the opportunity to simulate the state after vitrectomy and in considering the physiological temperature. Fluorescein sodium (FS) and triamcinolone acetonide (TA) were used as (model) drugs to examine the drug distribution within the VM. Vitrectomy was simulated by replacing half the volume of the polyacrylamide gel that was used as vitreous substitute with the clinically used Siluron® 5000 whereas for a simulated liquefaction half the volume of the gel was replaced by buffer. A simulated liquefaction caused a 12-fold faster distribution of FS compared to the simulated juvenile VM, which was most likely caused by convective forces and mass transfer. Also, the injection technique (injection into the gel or into the buffer compartment) influenced the resulting distribution pattern. Without any liquefaction, the previously described initial injection channel occurred with both (model) drugs and, in the case of TA, remained almost unchanged during the investigation period of 72 h. Simulating vitrectomized eyes, TA did not spread uniformly, but either remained in the depot or strongly sedimented within the VM suggesting that a homogenous distribution of a TA suspension is highly unlikely in vitrectomized eyes. High variabilities were observed with ex vivo animal eyes, demonstrating the limited benefit of explanted tissues for such distribution studies. The combination of the modified VM and EyeMoS seems a valuable tool for characterizing intravitreal dosage forms in a reproducible simulation of diversified eye movements and a partially liquefied or vitrectomized vitreous body.

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