Only about 5% of drugs administrated by eye drops are bioavailable, and currently eye drops account for more than 90% of all ophthalmic formulations. The bioavailability of ophthalmic drugs can be improved by a soft contact lens-based ophthalmic drug delivery system. Several polymeric hydrogels have been investigated for soft contact lens-based ophthalmic drug delivery systems: (i) polymeric hydrogels for conventional contact lens to absorb and release ophthalmic drugs; (ii) polymeric hydrogels for piggyback contact lens combining with a drug plate or drug solution; (iii) surface-modified polymeric hydrogels to immobilize drugs on the surface of contact lenses; (iv) polymeric hydrogels for inclusion of drugs in a colloidal structure dispersed in the lens; (v) ion ligand-containing polymeric hydrogels; (vi) molecularly imprinted polymeric hydrogels which provide the contact lens with a high affinity and selectivity for a given drug. Polymeric hydrogels for these contact lens-based ophthalmic drug delivery systems, their advantages and drawbacks are critically analyzed in this review.
- Contact lens
- Ophthalmic drug delivery system
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