Intravitreal injection (IVI) is a common technology which is used to treat ophthalmic diseases inside eyeballs by delivering various drugs into the vitreous cavity using hypodermic needles. However, in some cases, there are possible side effects such as ocular tissue damage due to repeated injection or eyeball infection through the hole created during the needle retraction process. The best scenario of IVI is a one-time injection of drugs without needle retraction, keeping the system of the eyeball closed. Microneedles (MNs) have been applied to ocular tissues over 10 years, and no serious side effects on ocular tissue due to MN injection have been reported. Therefore, a self-plugging MN (SPM) is developed to perform intraocular drug delivery and to seal the scleral puncture simultaneously. The SPMs are fabricated by a thermal drawing process and then coated with a polymeric carrier of drugs and a hydrogel-based scleral plugging component. Each coated functional layer is characterized and demonstrated by in vitro and ex vivo experiments. Finally, in vivo tests using a porcine model confirms prompt sealing of SPM and sustained intraocular drug delivery.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
K.L., S.P. and D.H.J. contributed equally to this work. This research was supported by a grant of National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (2021R1F1A105502211 (K.L.)), a grant of Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute(KHIDI) funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI18C1237 (W.R.)), Global Infrastructure Program through the NRF funded by the MSIT (2019K1A3A1A18116048, (W.R.)), the Basic Science Research Program through the NRF funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF‐2017R1A6A3A04004741 (D.H.J.)), the Creative Materials Discovery Program through the NRF funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (2018M3D1A1058826 (J.H.K.)), the Development of Platform Technology for Innovative Medical Measurements funded by Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS–2021– GP2021‐ 0004 (J.H.K.)).
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Pharmaceutical Science