Researchers at the School of Optometry and Vision Science of the University of Waterloo have determined that a potential mixture of gelatin methacrylate and a photoinitiator can deliver bovine lactoferrin to the eye as matrix-metalloproteinase (MMP-9) degraded the material to facilitate the bound drug’s release. The study’s results led them to believe that using the material as an enzyme-triggered ocular drug delivery system could provide therapeutically relevant drugs to the ocular surface.

After developing the polymerized material, the study had four 6mm diameter discs punched out from the gel and then placed in different concentrations of MMP-9. The researchers then analyzed 100µL of the release media at intervals of baseline, 30 minutes, 12 hours and 24 hours. They noted that the bovine lactoferrin evident in the media increased over time and with increasing concentrations of MMP-9. The drug release was sustained for the entire 24-hour period for all MMP-9 concentrations.

The researchers believe that enzyme-triggered ocular drug delivery systems would be beneficial, as these degradable lenses could concurrently deliver ophthalmic drugs and lubricants to facilitate corneal wound healing.          

Bose S, Phan CM, Yim EKF, Jones JW. Release of bovine lactoferrin from a MMP-9 triggered material for corneal wound healing. ARVO 2020. Abstract #1179.