Hyaluronan as a promising excipient for ocular drug delivery
Hyaluronan (HA) is a naturally occurring polysaccharide and well known for its exceptional properties such as high biocompatibility and biodegradability, along with a low immunogenicity. Besides its use for various biomedical applications it recently came into focus as a favorable excipient for the formulation of various ocular therapeutics. This review article summarizes the ocular distribution of HA and its most heavily investigated binding protein “cluster of differentiation 44” (CD44) which is the rationale for the clinical use of HA, primarily as an additive in ocular applications ranging from eye drops to contact lenses. Moreover, examples will be given for using HA in various pre-clinical approaches to generate entirely new therapeutics, most notably in the field of nanotechnology.