Alginate inserts loaded with epidermal growth factor for the treatment of keratoconjunctivitis sicca

Pharm Dev Technol. 2008;13(3):221-31. doi: 10.1080/10837450801949566.


We developed and tested ocular inserts containing epidermal growth factor (EGF) for a causal treatment of keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). The inserts, consisting of different alginates with hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC) as a lubricant and release modifier, released EGF over time periods ranging from a few hours up to several days. The stability of EGF was high, having a protein half-life of approximately 548 days. A clinical pilot study suggests an amelioration of both the main symptoms and the objective criteria: tear film break-up (BUT) time and lissamine green score. Our results show that EGF treatment of KCS is highly promising.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alginates / administration & dosage
  • Alginates / chemistry*
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Drug Implants
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / administration & dosage*
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / analysis
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / therapeutic use*
  • Excipients
  • Female
  • Glucuronic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Glucuronic Acid / chemistry
  • Hexuronic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Hexuronic Acids / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence


  • Alginates
  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Drug Implants
  • Excipients
  • Hexuronic Acids
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • Glucuronic Acid