This paper addresses the problem of ocular delivery of lipophilic drugs. The aim of the paper is the evaluation of polymeric micelles, prepared using TPGS (d-alpha-Tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate), a water-soluble derivative of Vitamin E and/or poloxamer 407, as a vehicle for the ocular delivery of dexamethasone, cyclosporine, and econazole nitrate. The research steps were: (1) characterize polymeric micelles by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and X-ray scattering; (2) evaluate the solubility increase of the three drugs; (3) measure the in vitro transport and conjunctiva retention, in comparison to conventional vehicles; (4) investigate the mechanisms of enhancement, by studying drug release from the micelles and transconjunctival permeation of TPGS; and (5) study the effect of micelles application on the histology of conjunctiva. The data obtained demonstrate the application potential of polymeric micelles in ocular delivery, due to their ability to increase the solubility of lipophilic drugs and enhance transport in and across the conjunctival epithelium. The best-performing formulation was the one made of TPGS alone (micelles size approximate to 12 nm), probably because of the higher mobility of these micelles, an enhanced interaction with the conjunctival epithelium, and, possibly, the penetration of intact micelles.
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