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AAPS PharmSciTech. 2016 April; 17(2): 294–306.
Published online 2015 June 18. doi:  10.1208/s12249-015-0354-5
PMCID: PMC4984892

Nanoparticle-Based Topical Ophthalmic Gel Formulation for Sustained Release of Hydrocortisone Butyrate


This study was conducted to develop formulations of hydrocortisone butyrate (HB)-loaded poly(d,l-lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles (PLGA NP) suspended in thermosensitive gel to improve ocular bioavailability of HB for the treatment of bacterial corneal keratitis. PLGA NP with different surfactants such as polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), pluronic F-108, and chitosan were prepared using oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion evaporation technique. NP were characterized with respect to particle size, entrapment efficiency, polydispersity, drug loading, surface morphology, zeta potential, and crystallinity. In vitro release of HB from NP showed a biphasic release pattern with an initial burst phase followed by a sustained phase. Such burst effect was completely eliminated when nanoparticles were suspended in thermosensitive gels and zero-order release kinetics was observed. In HCEC cell line, chitosan-emulsified NP showed the highest cellular uptake efficiency over PVA- and pluronic-emulsified NP (59.09 ± 6.21%, 55.74 ± 6.26%, and 62.54 ± 3.30%, respectively) after 4 h. However, chitosan-emulsified NP indicated significant cytotoxicity of 200 and 500 μg/mL after 48 h, while PVA- and pluronic-emulsified NP exhibited no significant cytotoxicity. PLGA NP dispersed in thermosensitive gels can be considered as a promising drug delivery system for the treatment of anterior eye diseases.

KEY WORDS: hydrocortisone butyrate, PLGA nanoparticles, thermosensitive gel, topical administration

Articles from AAPS PharmSciTech are provided here courtesy of American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists