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  • Toropainen, Elisa; Fraser-Miller, Sara J.; Novakovic, Dunja; Del Amo, Eva M.; Vellonen, Kati-Sisko; Ruponen, Marika; Viitala, Tapani; Korhonen, Ossi; Auriola, Seppo; Hellinen, Laura; Reinisalo, Mika; Tengvall, Unni; Choi, Stephanie; Absar, Mohammad; Strachan, Clare; Urtti, Arto (2021)
    Eye drops of poorly soluble drugs are frequently formulated as suspensions. Bioavailability of suspended drug depends on the retention and dissolution of drug particles in the tear fluid, but these factors are still poorly understood. We investigated seven ocular indomethacin suspensions (experimental suspensions with two particle sizes and three viscosities, one commercial suspension) in physical and biological tests. The median particle size (d(50)) categories of the experimental suspensions were 0.37-1.33 and 3.12-3.50 mu m and their viscosity levels were 1.3, 7.0, and 15 mPa center dot s. Smaller particle size facilitated ocular absorption of indomethacin to the aqueous humor of albino rabbits. In aqueous humor the AUC values of indomethacin suspensions with different particle sizes, but equal viscosity, differed over a 1.5 to 2.3-fold range. Higher viscosity increased ocular absorption 3.4-4.3-fold for the suspensions with similar particle sizes. Overall, the bioavailability range for the suspensions was about 8-fold. Instillation of larger particles resulted in higher tear fluid AUC values of total indomethacin (suspended and dissolved) as compared to application of smaller particles. Despite these tear fluid AUC values of total indomethacin, instillation of the larger particles resulted in smaller AUC levels of indomethacin in the aqueous humor. This suggests that the small particles yielded higher concentrations of dissolved indomethacin in the tear fluid, thereby leading to improved ocular bioavailability. This new conclusion was supported by ocular pharmacokinetic modeling. Both particle size and viscosity have a significant impact on drug concentrations in the tear fluid and ocular drug bioavailability from topical suspensions. Viscosity and particle size are the key players in the complex interplay of drug retention and dissolution in the tear fluid, thereby defining ocular drug absorption and bioequivalence of ocular suspensions.
  • Ramsay, Eva; del Amo, Eva M.; Toropainen, Elisa; Tengvall-Unadike, Unni; Ranta, Veli-Pekka; Urtti, Arto; Ruponen, Marika (2018)
    On the surface of the eye, both the cornea and conjunctiva are restricting ocular absorption of topically applied drugs, but barrier contributions of these two membranes have not been systemically compared. Herein, we studied permeability of 32 small molecular drug compounds across an isolated porcine cornea and built a quantitative structure-property relationship (QSPR) model for the permeability. Corneal drug permeability (data obtained for 25 drug molecules) showed a 52-fold range in permeability (0.09-4.70x10(-6) cm/s) and the most important molecular descriptors in predicting the permeability were hydrogen bond donor, polar surface area and halogen ratio. Corneal permeability values were compared to their conjunctival drug permeability values. Ocular drug bioavailability and systemic absorption via conjunctiva were predicted for this drug set with pharmacokinetic calculations. Drug bioavailability in the aqueous humour was simulated to be <5% and trans-conjunctival systemic absorption was 34-79% of the dose. Loss of drug across the conjunctiva to the blood circulation restricts significantly ocular drug bioavailability and, therefore, ocular absorption does not increase proportionally with the increasing corneal drug permeability.