Retinal diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, are the leading causes of blindness worldwide. The mainstay of treatment for these blinding diseases remains to be surgery and the available pharmaceutical therapies on the market are limited, partially owing to various biological barriers in hindering delivery of therapeutics to the retina. Nanoparticulate drug delivery system confers the capability for delivering therapeutics to the specific ocular targets, hence potentially revolutionizes the current treatment landscape of retinal diseases. While research to date indicates the enormous therapeutics potentials of the nanoparticulate delivery systems, the successful translation of these systems from bench to bedside is challenging and requires a combined understanding of retinal pathology, physiology of the eye as well as particle and formulation designs of nanoparticles. To this end, the review begins with an overview of the most prevalent retinal diseases and related pharmacotherapy. Highlights of the current challenges encountered in ocular drug delivery for each administration route are provided, followed by critical appraisal of various nanoparticulate drug delivery systems for the retinal diseases, including their formulation designs, therapeutic merits, limitations and future direction. It is believed a greater understanding of the nano-bio interaction in eyes will lead to development of more sophisticated drug delivery systems for retinal diseases.

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PubMed