Ocular Drug Delivery group (ODD)

Research group

The Ocular Drug Delivery (ODD) group develops advanced drug delivery methods for targeted and prolonged drug delivery to both the anterior and posterior segments of the eye. Furthermore, we use computational tools for drug development and preclinical-to-clinical translation to build a quantitative understanding of ocular pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.

We are currently pursuing studies in two main research areas: ocular drug delivery systems and ocular pharmacokinetics.

We develop new drug delivery systems based on polymer conjugates, hydrogels, light-activated liposomes, and cleavable peptide linkers which allow us to control and fine-tune drug release. We employ targeting moieties such as peptides selected by phage display and aptamers selected by SELEX (systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment) to target the drug delivery systems to the desired tissue inside the eye. We investigate these technologies in physico-chemical studies, cell assays and preclinical in vivo experiments. Our aim is to develop drug delivery systems that are suitable for various kinds of compounds ranging from small drug molecules to biologicals and gene medicines.

We study drug permeation, which may be driven by passive diffusion or active transport, across ocular barriers. We investigate ocular drug-metabolizing enzymes, whose unique profile may contribute to e.g. prodrug activation, elimination and toxicity of the ocular medications. We also elucidate the effect of binding to ocular tissues on drug disposition. Furthermore, we build computational models that can predict the most relevant pharmacokinetic properties in relation to a drug’s structure, and can estimate the drug release profiles from a delivery system. We have also used modeling approaches to explore animal-to-man translation of ocular pharmacokinetics. These methods include chemoinformatic models, physiologically-based pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic models and finite element (3D) models. We believe that computational models are becoming increasingly useful tools for ocular drug discovery and development.

Group description


Group members - UEF