Comparison of Electrospun and Solvent Cast Polylactic Acid (PLA)/poly(vinyl Alcohol) (PVA) Inserts as Potential Ocular Drug Delivery Vehicles

Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2017 Aug 1;77:895-903. doi: 10.1016/j.msec.2017.03.305. Epub 2017 Apr 1.


Purpose: The purpose of this work was to develop, characterize and compare electrospun nanofiber inserts (ENIs) and solvent cast polymeric inserts (SCIs) for ocular drug delivery.

Methods: ENI and SCI of 1%, 5% and 10% w/w dexamethasone were fabricated using a blend of poly-lactic acid (PLA) and poly-vinyl alcohol (PVA). Inserts were characterized for morphology, thickness, pH, drug content, drug crystallinity, in vitro drug release, sterility, dimethylformamide (DMF) and chloroform content, and cytotoxicity.

Results: The thickness of 1%, 5%, and 10% dexamethasone-loaded ENIs were found to be 50μm, 62.5μm, and 93.3μm, respectively, with good folding endurance. SCIs were brittle, with thickness values >200μm. Drug release rates from 1%, 5% and 10% ENIs were found to be 0.62μg/h, 1.46μg/h, and 2.30μg/h, respectively, while those from SCIs were erratic. DMF content in ENIs and SCIs were 0.007% w/w and 0.123% w/w, respectively, while chloroform was not detected. No cytotoxicity was observed from ENIs in cultured bovine corneal endothelial cells for up to 24h.

Conclusion: We conclude that ENIs are better than SCIs and could be utilized as a potential delivery system for treating anterior segment ocular diseases.

Keywords: Dexamethasone; Electrospinning; Ophthalmic; Solvent casting; Toxicity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Polyesters / chemistry*
  • Polyvinyl Alcohol / chemistry*
  • Solvents


  • Polyesters
  • Solvents
  • poly(lactide)
  • Polyvinyl Alcohol