Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Chang Gung University, 259, Wen-Hwa First Road, Kwei-Shan, Tao-Yuan, 333, Taiwan; Research Center for Chinese Herbal Medicine and Research Center for Food and Cosmetic Safety, College of Human Ecology, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, 261, Wen-Hwa First Road, Taoyuan, Taiwan; Department of Chemical Engineering, Ming Chi University of Technology, 84, Gung-Juan Road, New Taipei City, Taiwan; Department of Ophthalmology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, 5, Fu-Hsing Street, Taoyuan, Taiwan. Electronic address: [Email]
Curcumin is a powerful scavenger of reactive oxygen species and could prevent the corneal cells from oxidative damage. However, the clinical efficacy of curcumin is limited by its low aqueous solubility and stability, leading to poor bioavailability. β-cyclodextrin, with a hydrophilic surface and a hydrophobic cavity and self-assembling properties, can form inclusion complexes with lipophilic drugs such as curcumin for ocular delivery. We synthesized ethylene diamine (EDA)-modified β-cyclodextrin and prepared the curcumin complexation using the solvent evaporation method. The EDA-β-cyclodextrin provided a better thermodynamic stability and higher complex yield for curcumin complexes, compared to β-cyclodextrin, which were demonstrated on the analysis of their van't Hoff plots and phase solubility diagrams. We characterized EDA-β-cyclodextrin curcumin nanoparticles and determined that the EDA modified β-cyclodextrin is a more suitable carrier than parental β-cyclodextrin, using FT-IR, XRD, TEM, and analyses of solubility and storage stability. In addition, the curcumin-EDA-β-cyclodextrin nanoparticles had better in vitro corneal penetration and 3 -h cumulative flux in a porcine cornea experiment, and displayed an improved biocompatibility, confirmed by the histological examination of porcine corneas and cell viability of bovine corneal epithelial cells. These results together revealed a role of EDA modification in the β-cyclodextrin carrier, including the improvement of curcumin complex formation, thermodynamic properties, cytotoxicity, and the in vitro corneal penetration. The EDA-β-cyclodextrin inclusion can provide curcumin a higher degree of aqueous solubility and corneal permeability.