Gallic acid grafting effect on delivery performance and antiglaucoma efficacy of antioxidant-functionalized intracameral pilocarpine carriers

Shih Feng Chou, Li Jyuan Luo, Jui Yang Lai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

35 Scopus citations


Functionalization of therapeutic carrier biomaterials can potentially provide additional benefits in drug delivery for disease treatment. Given that this modification determines final therapeutic efficacy of drug carriers, here, we investigate systematically the role of grafting amount of antioxidant gallic acid (GA) onto GN in situ gelling copolymers made of biodegradable gelatin and thermo-responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) for intracameral delivery of pilocarpine in antiglaucoma treatment. As expected, increasing redox reaction time increased total antioxidant activities and free radical scavenging abilities of synthesized carrier biomaterials. The hydrophilic nature of antioxidant molecules strongly affected physicochemical properties of carrier materials with varying GA grafting amounts, thereby dictating in vitro release behaviors and mechanisms of pilocarpine. In vitro oxidative stress challenges revealed that biocompatible carriers with high GA content alleviated lens epithelial cell damage and reduced reactive oxygen species. Intraocular pressure and pupil diameter in glaucomatous rabbits showed correlations with GA-mediated release of pilocarpine. Additionally, enhanced pharmacological treatment effects prevented corneal endothelial cell loss during disease progression. Increasing GA content increased total antioxidant level and decreased nitrite level in the aqueous humor, suggesting a much improved antioxidant status in glaucomatous eyes. This work significantly highlights the dependence of physicochemical properties, drug release behaviors, and bioactivities on intrinsic antioxidant capacities of therapeutic carrier biomaterials for glaucoma treatment. Statement of Significance Development of injectable biodegradable polymer depots and functionalization of carrier biomaterials with antioxidant can potentially provide benefits such as improved bioavailability, controlled release pattern, and increased therapeutic effect in intracameral pilocarpine administration for glaucoma treatment. For the first time, this study demonstrated that the biodegradable in situ gelling copolymers can incorporate different levels of antioxidant gallic acid to tailor the structure-property-function relationship of the intracameral drug delivery system. The systematic evaluation fully verified the dependence of phase transition, degradation behavior, drug release mechanism, and antiglaucoma efficacy on intrinsic antioxidant capacities of carrier biomaterials. The report highlights the significant role of grafting amount of gallic acid in optimizing performance of antioxidant-functionalized polymer therapeutics as new drug delivery platforms in disease treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-128
Number of pages13
JournalActa Biomaterialia
StatePublished - 01 07 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Acta Materialia Inc.


  • Antiglaucoma effects
  • Antioxidant-functionalized biomaterial
  • Grafting amount of gallic acid
  • Intracameral pilocarpine administration
  • Therapeutic delivery carrier


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