Endophthalmitis is an infectious disease that affects the entire eye spreading to the internal retinal layers and the vitreous and causes severe sight-threatening conditions. Current treatment strategies rely on intraocular injections of antibiotics that are invasive, may lead to procedural complications and, ultimately, blindness. In this study, we developed a non-invasive strategy as an eyedrop containing nanoparticle-based dual-drug delivery system in which the hydrophobic poly-L-lactide core was loaded with azithromycin or triamcinolone acetonide, and the hydrophilic shell was made of chitosan. The developed nanoparticles were ∼200-250nm in size, spherical in shape, moderately hydrophilic, lysozyme tolerant, cytocompatible, and hemocompatible. Application of these chitosan-coated nanoparticles as eye drops to C57BL/6 mice showed higher bioavailability in choroid and retina when compared to the uncoated nanoparticles. The delivery system showed sustained release for 300 hours and exhibited antimicrobial effects against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and anti-inflammatory effects on activated microglial cells. Interestingly, the combination of the nanoparticles loaded with azithromycin and the nanoparticles loaded with triamcinolone acetonide acted synergistically as compared to either of the nanoparticles/drugs alone. Overall, the developed dual-drug delivery system is non-invasive, has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects, and shows potential as an eye drop formulation against endophthalmitis.
Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.