Drug loading optimization and extended drug delivery of corticoids from pHEMA based soft contact lenses hydrogels via chemical and microstructural modifications.Int J Pharm. 2015 Jun 20; 487(1-2):260-9.IJ
This paper proposes an approach to improve drug loading capacity and release properties of poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (p(HEMA)) soft contact lenses based on the optimization of the hydrogel composition and microstructural modifications using water during the polymerization process. P(HEMA) based soft contact lenses were prepared by thermal or photopolymerization of 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) solutions containing ethylene glycol di-methacrylate as crosslinker and different proportions of N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone (NVP) or methacrylic acid (MA) as co-monomers. Transmittance, water uptake, swelling, microstructure, drug absorption isotherms and in vitro release were characterized using triamcinolone acetonide (TA) as model drug. Best drug loading ratios were obtained with lenses containing the highest amount (200 mM) of MA. Incorporation of 40% V/V of water during the polymerization increases the hydrogel porosity giving a better drug loading capacity. In vitro TA release kinetics shows that MA hydrogels released the drug significantly faster than NVP-hydrogels. Drug release was found to be diffusion controlled and kinetics was shown to be reproducible after consecutive drug loading/release processes. Results of p(HEMA) based soft contact lenses copolymerized with ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) and different co-monomers could be a good alternative to optimize the loading and ocular drug delivery of this corticosteroid drug.