Altering the release of tobramycin by incorporating poly(ethylene glycol) into model silicone hydrogel contact lens materials
Delivery of drugs from contact lens materials is attractive for a number of reasons. However, the controlled delivery of hydrophilic drugs can be difficult to achieve due to the burst release of drug that is associated with materials of high water content, such as hydrogels. Silicone hydrogels have significant potential for drug delivery due to their increased hydrophobicity and the tortuous nature of the pores, overcoming some of the limitations associated with conventional hydrogel materials. The aim of this study was to examine the potential of model poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) containing silicone hydrogels for delivery of hydrophilic aminoglycoside antibiotics. It was hypothesized that PEG, a polymer that has seen extensive use in biomedical applications, will provide in addition to hydrophilicity and protein repulsion, a mechanism for controlling the delivery of this hydrophilic antibiotic. PEG was combined with the macromer TRIS to create the model silicone hydrogel materials. The optical and physical properties of the novel TRIS-co-PEG silicone hydrogels exhibited excellent transparency, appropriate refractive index and high transmittance indicating minimal phase separation. Desirable properties such as wettability and protein repulsion were maintained across a wide range of formulations. The water content was found to be highly correlated with the ethylene oxide content. Drug release could be influenced through PEG content and was found to fit Higuchi-like kinetics. Overall, the study demonstrates that incorporation of PEG into a model silicone hydrogel could be used to control the release of a hydrophilic compound. Data suggests this is related to the unique structure and properties of PEG, which alter the types of water found in each formulation and the water content.