Chitosan-coated PLGA nanoparticles for enhanced ocular anti-inflammatory efficacy of atorvastatin calcium

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© 2020 Arafa et al. Background: Atorvastatin calcium (AT) is an ocular anti-inflammatory with limited bioavailability when taken orally due to its low solubility in low pH and extensive first-pass effect. To overcome these problems, AT was entrapped in polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) to improve surface properties and sustained release, in addition to achieving site-specific action. Methods: AT was entrapped in chitosan (CS)-coated polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) NPs to form AT-PLGA-CS-NPs (F1). F1 and free AT were embedded in thermosensitive Pluronic®127-hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) to form thermosensitive gels (F2) and (F3) while F4 is AT suspension in water. F1 was assessed for size, surface charge, poly-dispersity index (PDI), and morphology. F2 and F3 were examined for gelation temperature, gel strength, pH, and viscosity. In vitro release of the four formulations was also investigated. The ocular irritancy and anti-inflammatory efficacy of formulations against prostaglandin E1-(PGE1) induced ocular inflammation in rabbits were investigated by counting the polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) and protein migrated in tears. Results: Oval F1 of 80.0–190.0±21.6 nm exhibited a PDI of 0.331 and zeta potential of 17.4 ±5.62 mV with a positive surface charge. F2 and F3 gelation temperatures were 35.17±0.22°C and 36.93±0.31°C, viscosity 12,243±0.64 and 9759±0.22 cP, gel strength 15.56±0.6 and 12.45 ±0.1 s, and pHs of 7.4±0.02 and 7.4±0.1, respectively. In vitro release of F1, F2, F3, and F4 were 48.21±0.31, 26.48±0.5, 84.76±0.11, and 100% after 24 hrs, respectively. All formulations were non-irritant. F2 significantly inhibited lid closure up to 3 h, PMN counts and proteins in tear fluids up to 5 h compared to other formulations. Conclusion: AT-PLGA-CS-NP thermosensitive gels proved to be successful ocular anti-inflammatory drug delivery systems.

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