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Pasquale Aragona, Peter A. Simmons, Hongpeng Wang, Tao Wang; Physicochemical Properties of Hyaluronic Acid–Based Lubricant Eye Drops. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2019;8(6):2. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.8.6.2.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To assess the physicochemical properties of hyaluronic acid (HA)-based artificial tears.
The average molecular weight (MW) and polydispersion index (PDI) of HA in 18 commercially available artificial tears were determined by light scattering/high-performance liquid chromatography. Osmolality, pH, viscosity, and sodium concentration were determined using an osmometer, pH meter, rheometer, and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer, respectively.
The MW of HA varied considerably between formulations. The PDI was >2.0 in two formulations (2.28 and 4.94), suggesting the presence of a copolymer and/or HA size variability. Three formulations exhibited viscosity exceeding the blur threshold at different shear rates. Viscosity at low shear rates was generally highest in formulations containing high-MW HA. Correlations were found between observed viscosity and a predictive/calculated value, except for four copolymer-containing formulations, and osmolality (range, 154–335 mOsm/kg) and sodium concentration (range, 22–183 mM), with two exceptions. Compared with organic osmolytes, adding sodium decreased viscosity, particularly at lower shear rates.
In the context of the literature, our findings suggest that for most patients with dry eye disease, the ideal HA-based artificial tear should include high-MW HA with a low PDI and exhibit enhanced viscosity at low shear rate (without exceeding the blur threshold). The inclusion of synergistic copolymers and a low sodium concentration may increase viscosity, but whether any of these physicochemical properties or correlations can predict clinical efficacy will require further investigation.
Understanding the properties of HA-based artificial tears will support the development of unique formulations that target specific ocular surface conditions.
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