Development and characterization of sponge-like acyclovir ocular minitablets.

06:00 EDT 1st September 2010 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Development and characterization of sponge-like acyclovir ocular minitablets."

For the treatment of ocular keratitis acyclovir, as a highly specific inhibitor of herpes virus replication, is applied topically into the eye. The objective of this study was to design and evaluate freeze-dried, bioadhesive and biodegredable acyclovir ocular minitablets for prolonged local drug action. The sponge-like nature of the lyophilized ocular minitablets ensures rapid hydration and gelation of these tablets in the eye and thus would reduce the foreign body sensation. The polymers used were sodium carboxymethylcellulose (NaCMC), hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC), xanthan gum, chitosan and Carbopol 943P. The minitablets were evaluated for drug content, weight variation, bioadhesion, water uptake and in vitro drug release. In addition, the rheological characteristics of the polymers solutions were investigated. Rheological data revealed that all tested polymers exhibited pseudoplastic behaviour which is required to minimize interference with blinking. Drug release was found to be affected by the type and concentration of polymer. The order of sustainment was chitosan > xanthan > HPMC > Carbopol > NaCMC. Water uptake study, dissolution rate of the polymers and viscosity measurements could explain the different release profiles of the drug from the polymers. Chitosan minitablet was chosen for its significant sustained release and good bioadhesive property for in vivo study in rabbits. The tablet showed a good permeation into the cornea in comparison to the commercially available Zovirax((R)) eye ointment. In conclusion, chitosan ocular minitablets containing acyclovir could be considered as a promising sustained drug delivery system for ocular keratitis treatment.


Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Drug delivery
ISSN: 1521-0464


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