Enhancing the efficacy of fluocinolone acetonide by encapsulating with PLGA nanoparticles and conjugating with linear PEG polymer

Joyce Pinto, Madiha Ahmad, Bharath Raja Guru

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Fluocinolone acetonide (FA), a glucocorticoid is used to treat inflammation in the posterior segment of the eye. Due to short half-life and body clearance, it will not be able to give therapeutic effect for long time with a single injection. Formulating FA nanoparticles (NPs) or PEG conjugates can be an effective way to overcome these disadvantages. We prepared two formulations, FA loaded in PLGA nanoparticles (NPs-FA) and FA conjugated to linear PEG (PEG-FA). The NPs-FA were characterised for size and zeta potential using particle size analyser and shape and morphology by using scanning electron microscope (SEM). The amount of drug loaded per mg of NPs and in-vitro release of FA from NPs were calculated using reverse phase high pressure liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). NPs synthesis was optimized with factorial and Response Surface Methodology (RSM). Chemically synthesized PEG-FA conjugates were characterized using H-NMR and purity of the conjugate was analysed using RP-HPLC. Visualization of cellular uptake of NPs was done by coumarin-6 loaded NPs under fluorescent microscope. RAW 264.7 macrophages were treated with NPs-FA and PEG-FA conjugates to study their effectiveness in inhibiting TNF-α levels compared to free FA treatment. Stability test confirmed that FA is more stable within NPs than in free form. Particle size and zeta potential were found to be 183.6 ± 12.47nm and −25.6 ± 4.4mV, respectively. 149.58 ± 11.3µg of FA was encapsulated per mg of NPs and 61 µg of FA was present per mg of PEG-FA conjugate. In vitro drug release study showed a sustained release of FA from the NPs for a period of 30 days. Fluorescent microscope images showed uptake of NPs by RAW 264.7 cells. TNF-α assay confirmed that substantial inhibition of TNF-α levels from both formulations compared to free FA. From the results, we conclude that new formulations will greatly reduce drug dosage and frequency of administration for long term treatment of inflammation in posterior part of the eye.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1188-1211
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 02-09-2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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