Magnetic nanoparticles as intraocular drug delivery system to target Retinal Pigmented Epithelium (RPE)

Martina Giannaccini, Marianna Giannini, M. Pilar Calatayud, Gerardo F. Goya, Alfred Cuschieri, Luciana Dente, Vittoria Raffa

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    39 Citations (Scopus)
    48 Downloads (Pure)


    One of the most challenging efforts in drug delivery is the targeting of the eye. The eye structure and barriers render this organ poorly permeable to drugs. Quite recently the entrance of nanoscience in ocular drug delivery has improved the penetration and half-life of drugs, especially in the anterior eye chamber, while targeting the posterior chamber is still an open issue. The retina and the retinal pigment epithelium/choroid tissues, located in the posterior eye chamber, are responsible for the majority of blindness both in childhood and adulthood. In the present study, we used magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) as a nanotool for ocular drug delivery that is capable of specific localization in the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) layer. We demonstrate that, following intraocular injection in Xenopus embryos, MNPs localize specifically in RPE where they are retained for several days. The specificity of the localization did not depend on particle size and surface properties of the MNPs used in this work. Moreover, through similar experiments in zebrafish, we demonstrated that the targeting of RPE by the nanoparticles is not specific for the Xenopus species.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1590-1605
    Number of pages16
    JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2014


    • Intraocular delivery
    • Magnetic Nanoparticle (MNP)
    • Retinal Pigmented Epithelium (RPE)
    • Xenopus laevis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Catalysis
    • Molecular Biology
    • Spectroscopy
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
    • Organic Chemistry
    • Inorganic Chemistry


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