Laser irradiation of ocular tissues to enhance drug delivery

Thakur Raghu Raj Singh, Samer Adwan, Ismaiel Tekko, Karim Soliman, Ryan F. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scleral and corneal membranes represent substantial barriers against drug delivery to the eye. Conventional hypodermic needles-based intraocular injections are clinically employed to overcome these barriers. This study, for the first time, investigated a non-invasive alternative to intraocular injections by laser irradiation of ocular tissues. The P.L.E.A.S.E.® laser device was applied on excised porcine scleral and corneal tissues, which showed linear relationships between depths of laser-created micropores and laser fluences at range 8.9–444.4 J/cm2. Deeper and wider micropores were observed in scleral relative to corneal tissues. The permeation of rhodamine B and fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran were investigated through ocular tissues at different laser parameters (laser fluences 0–44.4 J/cm2 and micropore densities 7.5 and 15%). Both molecules showed enhanced permeation through ocular tissues on laser irradiation. Maximum transscleral permeation of the molecules was attained at laser fluence 8.9 J/cm2 and micropore density 15%. Transcorneal permeation of rhodamine B increased with increasing either laser fluence or micropore density, while that of FITC-dextran was not affected by either parameter. The transscleral water loss increased significantly after laser irradiation then returned to the baseline values within 24 h, indicating healing of the laser-created micropores. Laser irradiation is a promising technique to enhance intraocular delivery of both small and large molecule drugs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number120282
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Early online date26 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2021


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