Hybrid Dendrimer Hydrogel/PLGA Nanoparticle Platform Sustains Drug Delivery for One Week and Antiglaucoma Effects for Four Days Following One-Time Topical Administration


We report a novel hybrid polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimer hydrogel/poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticle platform (HDNP) for codelivery of two antiglaucoma drugs, brimonidine and timolol maleate. This platform was not cytotoxic to human corneal epithelial cells. Cellular uptake of Nile red-encapsulating PLGA nanoparticles was significantly increased by dendrimer hydrogel. A prolonged residence time of nanoparticles was demonstrated through investigation of FluoSpheres loaded into dendrimer hydrogel. Both brimonidine and timolol maleate were slowly released in vitro over a period of 28-35 days. Following topical administration of one eye drop (30 µL of 0.7% w/v brimonidine and 3.5% w/v timolol maleate) in normotensive adult Dutch-belted male rabbits, the HDNP formulation resulted in a sustained and effective IOP reduction (18% or higher) for 4 days. Furthermore, the HDNP maintained significantly higher concentrations of brimonidine in aqueous humor and cornea as well as timolol maleate in the aqueous humor, cornea, and conjunctiva up to 7 days as compared to saline, DH, and PLGA nanoparticle dosage forms, without inducing ocular inflammation or discomfort. Histological analysis of the cornea and conjunctiva did not reveal any morphological or structural changes. Our work demonstrated that this new platform is capable of enhancing drug bioavailability and sustaining effective IOP reduction over an extended period of time. This newly developed platform can greatly reduce dosing frequency of topical formulations, thus, improving long-term patient compliance and reducing enormous societal and economic costs. Given its high structural adaptability, many other chronic ocular diseases would benefit from long-lasting drug delivery of this new platform.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

controlled release; dendrimer; glaucoma; nanotechnology; ophthalmic solution; PLGA

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1936-0851; 1936-086X

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2012 American Chemical Society (ACS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

25 Sep 2012

PubMed ID