Long Term Glaucoma Drug Delivery Using a Topically Retained Gel/Microsphere Eye Drop

Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 17;7(1):8639. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-09379-8.


The purpose of this study was to characterize and determine the efficacy of a long-term, non-invasive gel/microsphere (GMS) eye drop for glaucoma. This novel drug delivery system is comprised of a thermoresponsive hydrogel carrier and drug-loaded polymer microspheres. In vitro release of brimonidine from the GMS drops and gel properties were quantified. A single brimonidine-loaded GMS drop was administered to 5 normotensive rabbits and intraocular pressure (IOP) was monitored for 28 days. Here we report that IOP reduction in rabbits receiving a single brimonidine GMS drop was comparable to that of rabbits receiving twice daily, standard brimonidine drops. GMS drops were retained in the inferior fornix in all animals for the length of the study. Our results suggest in vivo efficacy over 28 days from a single GMS drop and a potential decrease in systemic absorption, based on a lack of substantial IOP effects on the fellow untreated eye, compared to brimonidine twice-daily eye drops. To our knowledge, this represents the first long-term, drug-releasing depot that can be administered as a traditional eye drop.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Gels / chemistry
  • Glaucoma / diagnosis
  • Glaucoma / drug therapy*
  • Intraocular Pressure / drug effects
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / administration & dosage*
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer / chemistry
  • Rabbits


  • Gels
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer