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World J Pharmacol. Dec 9, 2013; 2(4): 78-83
Published online Dec 9, 2013. doi: 10.5497/wjp.v2.i4.78
Drug delivery in ocular diseases: Barriers and strategies
Deep Kwatra, Ashim K Mitra
Deep Kwatra, Ashim K Mitra, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas, MO 64108-2718, United States
Deep Kwatra, Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas, KS 66160, United State
Author contributions: Both authors contributed equally to the document.
Correspondence to: Ashim K Mitra, PhD, Professor, Chairman, Department of Pharmaceutical Science, School of Pharmacy, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2464 Charlotte Street, Kansas, MO 64108-2718, United State. mitraa@umkc.edu
Telephone: +1-816-2351615  Fax: +1-816-2355779
Received: December 25, 2012
Revised: August 8, 2013
Accepted: August 28, 2013
Published online: December 9, 2013

The eye is a complex organ made up of diversified cells with specified functions. Presence of anatomical, physiological and physiochemical barriers make it difficult to deliver drugs in therapeutic amounts at intended sites. To overcome these, drug delivery scientists have followed two distinct yet complimentary approaches. The first involves using alternate delivery routes to conventional ones allowing for more direct access to intended target sites. Second approach involves development of novel drug delivery systems providing better permeability, treatability and controlled release at target site. Combination of both these approaches are being utilized and optimized in order to achieve optimal therapy with minimal adverse effects.

Keywords: Ocular diseases, Drug delivery, Optimal therapy, Barrier, Strategy

Core tip: The eye is a complex organ where combinations of various anatomical and physiological barriers work together to make it difficult to deliver drugs in the right amounts at the intended sites. To circumvent these barriers and to achieve desired levels ophthalmologists, ocular pharmacologists and pharmaceutical scientists have developed various drug delivery strategies with appropriate mode of administration.