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Gatifloxacin is a 4th generation fluoroquinolone antibiotic used in the clinic to treat ocular infection. One limitation of gatifloxacin is its relatively poor corneal penetration, and the increase of its trans-corneal delivery would be beneficial to reduce the amount or frequency of daily dose. In this study, ultrasound treatment was applied to enhance the trans-corneal delivery of gatifloxacin without damage. Experiments were conducted on mouse eyes in ex vivo and in vivo conditions. Ultrasound waves with 1 MHz in frequency, 1.3 W/cm2 in intensity were applied onto the mouse cornea for 5 minutes, and then gatifloxacin ophthalmic solution was instilled and left there for 10 minutes. 3D gatifloxacin distribution in the cornea was measured by two-photon microscopy (TPM) imaging based on its intrinsic fluorescence. Longitudinal TPM imaging of ultrasound treated mouse corneas showed the increase of initial gatifloxacin intensities on the corneal surface compared to untreated mouse corneas by 67%, and then the increased gatifloxacin delivery into the cornea from the surface at later time. The delivered gatifloxacin in the corneal epithelium stayed longer in the ultrasound treated corneas than in the untreated corneas. The enhanced trans-corneal delivery and extended stay of gatifloxacin in the mouse cornea by ultrasound treatment could be beneficial for therapeutic effects. This study demonstrated the detail process of enhanced trans-corneal gatifloxacin delivery by ultrasound treatment.


Uk Jegal, Jun Ho Lee, Jungbin Lee, Hyerin Jeong, Myoung Joon Kim, Ki Hean Kim. Ultrasound-assisted gatifloxacin delivery in mouse cornea, in vivo. Scientific reports. 2019 Oct 29;9(1):15532

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PMID: 31664145

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