Chitosan-coated plga nanoparticles encapsulating triamcinolone acetonide as a potential candidate for sustained ocular drug delivery

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The current treatment for the acquired retinal vasculopathies involves lifelong repeated intravitreal injections of either anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy or modulation of inflammation with steroids. Consequently, any treatment modification that decreases this treatment burden for patients and doctors alike would be a welcome intervention. To that end, this research aims to develop a topically applied nanoparticulate system encapsulating a corticosteroid for extended drug release. Poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) supports the controlled release of the encapsulated drug, while surface modification of these NPs with chitosan might prolong the mucoadhesion ability leading to improved bioavailability of the drug. Triamcinolone acetonide (TA)-loaded chitosan-coated PLGA NPs were fabricated using the oil-in-water emulsion technique. The optimized surface-modified NPs obtained using Box-Behnken response surface statistical design were reproducible with a particle diameter of 334 ± 67.95 to 386 ± 15.14 nm and PDI between 0.09 and 0.15. These NPs encapsulated 55–57% of TA and displayed a controlled release of the drug reaching a plateau in 27 h. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopic (FTIR) analysis demonstrated characteristic peaks for chitosan (C-H, CONH2 and C-O at 2935, 1631 and 1087 cm−1, respectively) in chitosan-coated PLGA NPs. This result data, coupled with positive zeta potential values (ranged between +26 and +33 mV), suggests the successful coating of chitosan onto PLGA NPs. Upon coating of the NPs, the thermal stability of the drug, polymer, surfactant and PLGA NPs have been enhanced. The characteristics of the surface-modified NPs supports their use as potential candidates for topical ocular drug delivery for acquired retinal vasculopathies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1590
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Chitosan
  • Chitosan-coated nanoparticles
  • Corticosteroid
  • Nanoparticles
  • Ocular drug delivery
  • PLGA
  • Posterior segment eye diseases
  • Triamcinolone acetonide


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