Antibiotic use for ocular treatments has been largely limited by poor local bioavailability with conventional eyedrops formulations. Here, we developed a controlled delivery system composed of moxifloxacin-loaded poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microparticles encapsulated in a chondroitin sulfate-based, two-component bioadhesive hydrogel. Using a simple and fast electrohydrodynamic spray drying (electrospraying) technique, surfactant-free moxifloxacin-loaded microparticles were fabricated with diameters on the order of 1 μm. A mixed solvent system of methanol/dichloromethane (MeOH/DCM) was employed to prepare the microparticles for the electrospraying processing. Extended release of moxifloxacin using a series of MeOH/DCM mixed solvents was accomplished over 10 days with release concentrations higher than the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). In contrast, moxifloxacin loaded directly in hydrogels was released rapidly within 24 h. We observed a decrease of the drug release rate from the microparticles when using an increased percentage of methanol in the mixed solvent from 10% to 30% (v/v), which can be explained by the mixed solvent system providing a driving force to form a gradient of the drug concentrations inside the microparticles. In addition, the delivery system developed in this study, which incorporates a bioadhesive to localize drug release by in situ gelling, may potentially integrate antibiotic prophylaxis and wound healing in the eye.
Keywords: Bioadhesive; Electrospraying; Microparticle; Moxifloxacin; Ophthalmic release.