Functional Peptide-Loaded Gelatin Nanoparticles as Eyedrops for Cornea Neovascularization Treatment

Ya Chun Chu, Hsu Wei Fang, Yu Yi Wu, Yu Jun Tang, Erh Hsuan Hsieh, Yizhou She, Che Yi Chang, I. Chan Lin, Yin Ju Chen, Guei Sheung Liu, Ching Li Tseng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Corneal neovascularization (NV) is a process of abnormal vessel growth into the transparent cornea from the limbus and can disturb the light passing through the cornea, resulting in vision loss or even blindness. The use of nanomedicine as an effective therapeutic formulation in ophthalmology has led to higher drug bioavailability and a slow drug release rate. In this research, we designed and explored the feasibility of a new nanomedicine, gp91 ds-tat (gp91) peptide-encapsulated gelatin nanoparticles (GNP-gp91), for inhibiting corneal angiogenesis. Methods: GNP-gp91 were prepared by a two-step desolvation method. The characterization and cytocompatibility of GNP-gp91 were analyzed. The inhibition effect of GNP-gp91 on HUVEC cell migration and tube formation was observed by an inverted microscope. The drug retention test in mouse cornea was observed by in vivo imaging system, fluorescence microscope, and DAPI/TAMRA staining. Finally, the therapeutic efficacy and evaluation of neovascularization-related factors were conducted through the in vivo corneal NV mice model via topical delivery. Results: The prepared GNP-gp91 had a nano-scale diameter (550.6 nm) with positive charge (21.7 mV) slow-release behavior (25%, 240hr). In vitro test revealed that GNP-gp91 enhanced the inhibition of cell migration and tube formation capacity via higher internalization of HUVEC. Topical administration (eyedrops) of the GNP-gp91 significantly prolongs the retention time (46%, 20 min) in the mouse cornea. In chemically burned corneal neovascularization models, corneal vessel area with a significant reduction in GNP-gp91 group (7.89%) was revealed when compared with PBS (33.99%) and gp91 (19.67%) treated groups via every two days dosing. Moreover, GNP-gp91 significantly reduced the concentration of Nox2, VEGF and MMP9 in NV’s cornea. Conclusion: The nanomedicine, GNP-gp91, was successfully synthesized for ophthalmological application. These data suggest that GNP-gp91 contained eyedrops that not only have a longer retention time on the cornea but also can treat mice corneal NV effectively delivered in a low dosing frequency, GNP-gp91 eyedrops provides an alternative strategy for clinical ocular disease treatment in the culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1413-1431
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Nanomedicine
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© 2023 Chu et al.


  • control release
  • corneal neovascularization
  • eye drops
  • gelatin
  • gp91 peptide
  • nanoparticles
  • ocular retention
  • Cornea
  • Ophthalmic Solutions/pharmacology
  • Corneal Neovascularization/drug therapy
  • Animals
  • Peptides/pharmacology
  • Nanoparticles/chemistry
  • Gelatin/pharmacology
  • Mice


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