Effect of liposomal formulation of ascorbic acid on corneal permeability

Sci Rep. 2023 Mar 1;13(1):3448. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-29290-9.


Ascorbic acid (AA) has a pivotal role in corneal wound healing via stimulating the biosynthesis of highly organized extracellular matrix components, but its rapid degradation and low corneal permeability limits its therapeutic effects. In this paper, we present the pharmacokinetic properties of a liposomal-based formulation of AA in terms of corneal permeation. Chemical stability, shelf-life, and drug release rate of lyophilized liposome (AA-LLipo) formulation was determined in comparison to free-form of AA solution using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and rapid equilibrium dialysis. In vitro transcorneal permeability was studied using a parallel artificial membrane permeability assay (PAMPA). Ex vivo permeation was examined on AA-LLipo-treated porcine cornea by determining the AA content on the ocular surface, in the cornea as well as in the aqueous humor using HPLC, and by Raman-mapping visualizing the AA-distribution. Our results showed that the liposomal formulation improved the chemical stability of AA, while drug release was observed with the same kinetic efficiency as from the free-form of AA solution. Both corneal-PAMPA and porcine corneal permeability studies showed that AA-LLipo markedly improved the corneal absorption kinetics of AA, thus, increasing the AA content in the cornea and aqueous humor. AA-LLipo formulation could potentially increase the bioavailability of AA in corneal tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Cornea
  • Corneal Injuries*
  • Liposomes*
  • Permeability
  • Swine


  • Liposomes
  • Ascorbic Acid