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Jayakrishna Ambati, Christina S. Canakis, Joan W. Miller, Evangelos S. Gragoudas, Aurélie Edwards, David J. Weissgold, Ivana Kim, François C. Delori, Anthony P. Adamis; Diffusion of High Molecular Weight Compounds through Sclera. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000;41(5):1181-1185.
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purpose. To determine the in vitro permeability of the sclera to high molecular
weight compounds and the relationship between scleral permeability and
methods. Fresh rabbit sclera was mounted in a two-chamber diffusion apparatus,
and its permeability to sodium fluorescein, fluorescein isothiocyanate
(FITC)–conjugated bovine serum albumin, FITC–IgG, and FITC dextrans
ranging in molecular weight from 4 to 150 kDa was determined by
fluorescence spectrophotometry. Electron microscopy was used to assess
the impact of the experimental design on scleral ultrastructural
integrity. The effect of the diffusion apparatus on scleral hydration
was examined. Rabbit scleral permeability was compared with previously
reported data for human and bovine sclera.
results. Scleral permeability decreased with increasing molecular weight
and molecular radius, consistent with previous human and bovine data.
Molecular radius was a better predictor of scleral permeability than
molecular weight. The sclera was more permeable to globular proteins
than to linear dextrans of similar molecular weight. The experimental
apparatus did not alter scleral ultrastructure. Permeability of rabbit
sclera was similar to human sclera but greater than bovine sclera.
conclusions. Large molecules, such as IgG, diffuse across sclera in a manner
consistent with porous diffusion through a fiber matrix. Transscleral
delivery of immunoglobulins and other large compounds to the choroid
and retina may be feasible.
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