Biodegradable polymers (both synthetic and natural) have been extensively explored for ophthalmic applications. These biomaterials are mainly biocompatible and biodegradable in nature. Moreover, different biodegradable polymers have different physico-chemical properties which can further be modulated to formulate desirable drug products. A wide range of ocular drug delivery systems such as implants, inserts, corneal shields, contact lenses, micelles, nanoparticles, microparticles, liposomes, dendrimers and stimuli sensitive hydrogels can be formulated with biodegradable polymers. Moreover, controlled drug delivery systems made up of biodegradable polymers can deliver a variety of therapeutic molecules including hydrophilic and hydrophobic small and macromolecules for prolonged periods to the targeted ocular tissues. In this chapter, we reviewed various synthetic and natural biodegradable polymers applied to ocular drug delivery.
Keywords: Alginates, biodegradable polymers, chitosan, collagen, fibrin, gelatin, hyaluronic acid, poly alkyl cyanoacrylates, poly amino acids, poly anhydrides, poly caprolactone, polyester, polyglycolide, polylactide, poly (lactide-co-glycolide), polysaccharides.