The movement of self-assembled amphiphilic polymeric nanoparticles in the vitreous and retina after intravitreal injection

Heebeom Koo, Hyungwon Moon, Hyounkoo Han, Jin Hee Na, Myung Sook Huh, Jae Hyung Park, Se Joon Woo, Kyu Hyung Park, Ick Chan Kwon, Kwangmeyung Kim, Hyuncheol Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to determine the correlation between the distribution of nanoparticles in the vitreous and retina and their surface properties after intravitreal injection. For this purpose, we synthesized seven kinds of nanoparticles through self-assembly of amphiphilic polymer conjugates in aqueous condition. They showed similar size but different surface properties. They were labeled with fluorescent dyes for efficient tracking. After intravitreal injection of these nanoparticles into a rodent eye, their time-dependent distribution in the vitreous and retina was determined in stacking tissue images by confocal microscopy. The results demonstrated that the surface property of nanoparticles is a key factor in determining their distribution in the vitreous and retina after intravitreal injection. In addition, immunohistochemistry and TEM images of retina tissues suggested the important mechanism related with Mülller cells for intravitreally administered nanoparticles to overcome the physical barrier of inner limiting membrane and to penetrate into the deeper retinal structures. Therefore, we expect that this study can provide valuable information for biomedical researchers to develop optimized nanoparticles as drug or gene carriers for retinal and optic nerve disorders such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3485-3493
Number of pages9
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology ( 2011-0009606 ), the Graduate School of Specialization for Biotechnology Program of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), Company-Researcher co-work program of Small & Medium Buisiness Administration ( SD122946 ), Fusion Technology Project ( 2009-0081876 ) of MEST, and the Intramural Research Program (Theragnosis) of KIST.


  • Drug delivery
  • Intravitreal
  • Nanoparticle
  • Ocular
  • Retina
  • Vitreous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials


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