Sustained release ophthalmic dexamethasone:In vitro in vivocorrelations derived from the PK-Eye

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Graphical abstractCorticosteroids have long been used to treat intraocular inflammation by intravitreal injection. We describe dexamethasone loaded poly-DL-lactide-co-glycolide (PLGA) microparticles that were fabricated by thermally induced phase separation (TIPS). The dexamethasone loaded microparticles were evaluated using a two-compartment, in vitro aqueous outflow model of the eye (PK-Eye) that estimates drug clearance time from the back of the eye via aqueous outflow by the anterior route. A dexamethasone dose of 0.20 ± 0.02 mg in a 50 μL volume of TIPS microparticles resulted in a clearance t1/2 of 9.6 ± 0.3 days using simulated vitreous in the PK-Eye. Since corticosteroids can also clear through the retina, it is necessary to account for clearance through the back of the eye. Retinal permeability data, published human ocular pharmacokinetics (PK) and the PK-Eye clearance times were then used to establish in vitro in vivo correlations (IVIVCs) for intraocular clearance times of corticosteroid formulations. A t1/2 of 48 h was estimated for the dexamethasone-TIPS microparticles, which is almost 9 times longer than that reported for dexamethasone suspension in humans. The prediction of human clearance times of permeable molecules from the vitreous compartment can be determined by accounting for drug retinal permeation and determining the experimental clearance via the anterior aqueous outflow pathway using the PK-Eye.

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