Author(s): Melgar-Asensio I, Kandela I, Aird F, Darjatmoko SR, de Los Rios C, Sorenson CM, Albert DM, Sheibani N, Henkin J. Extended intravitreal rabbit eye residence of nanoparticles conjugated with cationic arginine peptides for intraocular drug delivery: in vivo imaging. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2018 Aug 1;59(10):4071-4081. doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-24087. PMID 30098194
Purpose Drug delivery by intravitreal injection remains problematic, small agents and macromolecules both clearing rapidly. Typical carriers use microparticles (>2 μm), with size-related liabilities, to slow diffusion. We recently described cationic nanoparticles (NP) where conjugated Arg peptides prolonged residence in rat eyes, through ionic interaction with vitreal poly-anions. Here we extended this strategy to in vivo tracking of NP-conjugate (NPC) clearance from rabbit eyes. Relating t1/2 to zeta potential, and varied dose, we estimated the limits of this charge-based delivery system.
Methods NPC carried covalently attached PEG8-2Arg or PEG8-3Arg pentapeptides, having known sequences from human eye proteins. Peptides were conjugated (61-64 per NPC); each NP/NPC also carried a cyanine7 tag (<0.5 dye/particle). In vivo imaging system (IVIS), after intravitreal injection, estimated NPC loss by 800-nm photon emission (745-nm excitation) at 1 to 3-week intervals following initial scan at day 10.
Results NPC of 2Arg-peptides or 3Arg-peptides showed clearance t1/2 of 7 days and 17 days respectively, unconjugated NP t1/2 was <<5 days. Doses of 90, 180, and 360 μg of PEG8-2Arg NPC were compared. The lower doses showed dose-proportional day-10 concentration, and similar clearance. Higher early loss was seen with a 360-μg dose, exceeding rabbit vitreal binding capacity. No inflammation was observed.
Conclusions This type of cationic NPC can safely increase residence t1/2 in a 1 to 3-week range, with dose <100 μg per mL vitreous. Human drug load may then range from 10 to 100 μg/eye, usefulness depending on individual drug potency and release rate, superimposed on extended intravitreal residence.