Permeability of cornea, sclera, and conjunctiva: a literature analysis for drug delivery to the eye

J Pharm Sci. 1998 Dec;87(12):1479-88. doi: 10.1021/js9802594.


The objective of this study was to collect a comprehensive database of ocular tissue permeability measurements found in a review of the literature to guide models for drug transport in the eye. Well over 300 permeability measurements of cornea, sclera, and conjunctiva, as well as corneal epithelium, stroma, and endothelium, were obtained for almost 150 different compounds from more than 40 different studies. In agreement with previous work, the corneal epithelium was shown generally to control transcorneal transport, where corneal stroma and endothelium contribute significantly only to the barrier for small, lipophilic compounds. In addition, other quantitative comparisons between ocular tissues are presented. This study provides an extensive database of ocular tissue permeabilities, which should be useful for future development and validation of models to predict rates of drug delivery to the eye.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Conjunctiva / physiology*
  • Cornea / physiology*
  • Data Collection*
  • Humans
  • Permeability
  • Pharmacokinetics*
  • Rabbits
  • Sclera / physiology*