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Design, development, and characterization of an idebenone-loaded poly-ε-caprolactone intravitreal implant as a new therapeutic approach for LHON treatment

Rubén Varela-Fernández, María Isabel Lema-Gesto, Miguel González-Barcia, Francisco Javier Otero-Espinar
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics 2021 September 6
Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) is a hereditary mitochondrial neurodegenerative disease of unclear etiology and lack of available therapeutic alternatives. The main goal of the current pilot study was based on the evaluation of the feasibility and characteristics of prolonged and controlled idebenone release from a PCL intravitreal implant. The design, development, and characterization of idebenone-loaded PCL implants prepared by an homogenization/extrusion/solvent evaporation method allowed the obtention of high PY, EE and LC values. In vitro characterization was completed by the assessment of mechanical and instrumental properties. The in vitro release of idebenone from the PCL implants was assessed and the implant erosion was monitored by the mass loss and surface morphology changes. DSC was used to estimate stability and interaction among implant's components. The present work demonstrated the controlled and prolonged idebenone delivery from the PCL implants in an in vitro model. A consistent preclinical base was established, supporting the idea of idebenone-loaded PCL implants as a new strategy of long-term sustained intraocular delivery for the LHON treatment.

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