Polymeric Implants for the Treatment of Intraocular Eye Diseases: Trends in Biodegradable and Non-Biodegradable Materials

Pharmaceutics. 2021 May 12;13(5):701. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics13050701.


Intraocular/Intravitreal implants constitute a relatively new method to treat eye diseases successfully due to the possibility of releasing drugs in a controlled and prolonged way. This particularity has made this kind of method preferred over other methods such as intravitreal injections or eye drops. However, there are some risks and complications associated with the use of eye implants, the body response being the most important. Therefore, material selection is a crucial factor to be considered for patient care since implant acceptance is closely related to the physical and chemical properties of the material from which the device is made. In this regard, there are two major categories of materials used in the development of eye implants: non-biodegradables and biodegradables. Although non-biodegradable implants are able to work as drug reservoirs, their surgical requirements make them uncomfortable and invasive for the patient and may put the eyeball at risk. Therefore, it would be expected that the human body responds better when treated with biodegradable implants due to their inherent nature and fewer surgical concerns. Thus, this review provides a summary and discussion of the most common non-biodegradable and biodegradable materials employed for the development of experimental and commercially available ocular delivery implants.

Keywords: biodegradable materials; implant biocompatibility; intraocular implants; polymers.

Publication types

  • Review