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Lyophilisates for drug delivery in ophthalmology: pharmacokinetics of fluorescein in the human anterior segment
  1. S Dinslage1,
  2. M Diestelhorst1,
  3. A Weichselbaum2,
  4. R Süverkrüp2
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Cologne, Germany
  2. 2Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, University of Bonn, Germany
  1. Correspondence: Professor M Diestelhorst, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Cologne, Joseph-Stelzmann-Strasse 9, 50931 Cologne, Germany; michael.diestelhorst{at}


Aims: To assess the ocular bioavailability of fluorescein from a novel water free, freeze dried ophthalmic drug delivery system compared to conventional preservative-free fluorescein eye drops.

Methods: Sodium fluorescein 0.17% was dissolved in an aqueous solution of hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose 1.0% (HPMC), deposited on sterilised flexible hydrophobic poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) carrier strips and freeze dried under aseptic conditions. The fluorescein dose of the lyophilisate was 68 μg, corresponding to a single conventional drop of 40 μl fluorescein 0.17% solution. In a randomised, open label study 12 healthy volunteers applied the lyophilised fluorescein to one eye and one drop of conventional fluorescein ophthalmic solution to the fellow eye. Fluorophotometry measurements of fluorescein concentrations in the anterior segment were performed with the Fluorotron Master II (Ocumetrics, USA) before and +15, 30, 45, 60, 120, and 180 minutes after application.

Results: At all times anterior chamber fluorescein concentration was greater in the lyophysilate treated eye than the solution treated eye. The magnitude of this difference ranged from 2–5.3 times and was statistically significant.

Conclusion: The greater intraocular bioavailability of fluorescein from the lyophilisate relative to the solution suggests that it may be a useful method for delivering substances to the eye.

  • lyophilisate
  • drug delivery
  • pharmacokinetics
  • eye drops

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  • Presented in part at ARVO 2000 (No 4063).