MSc Candidate Ms. Ronya Ben Shabo
Ocular drug delivery, especially to the inner eye, is one of the most challenging administration routes. Hence, the design of novel strategies to increase drug bioavailability in the anterior and posterior segments of the eye is called for. Polymeric micelles (PMs) are nanostructures formed by the self-assembly of polymeric amphiphiles above the critical micellar concentration and display hydrophilic and hydrophobic domains. PMs have been investigated to encapsulate poorly water-soluble drugs. In this project, we produced and characterized mixed mucoadhesive PMs made of chitosan and poly(vinyl alcohol) that were hydrophobized with poly(methyl methacrylate) blocks in the side chain and used them to encapsulate synthetic cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid with multiple pharmacological activities. CBD-loaded PMs displayed hydrodynamic diameter of 120-200 nm before and after freeze- and spray-drying. The compatibility of the PMs was preliminarily evaluated in the Caco-2 cell line that is a model of the intestinal epithelium to optimize their composition and then, in human corneal epithelial cells (hCEc). Then, the permeability of CBD-free PMs was evaluated in monolayers of both cell types grown on semi-permeable membranes, and the permeability of CBD-loaded counterparts hCEc monolayers. Results show that these mixed PMs display good CBD loading capacity of 20% w/w and physically stability over time. Moreover, they are cell compatible and cross the corneal epithelium in vitro, most probably by a paracellular pathway.
Supervisor: Prof. Alejandro Sosnik
The lecture will take place in room 302, Meidan, for green pass holders, or via ZOOM.