Inner ear drug delivery for auditory applications

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Advanced drug delivery reviews (Impact Factor: 12.71). 12/2008; 60(15):1583-1599. DOI: 10.1016/j.addr.2008.08.001

ABSTRACT Many inner ear disorders cannot be adequately treated by systemic drug delivery. A blood-cochlear barrier exists, similar physiologically to the blood-brain barrier, which limits the concentration and size of molecules able to leave the circulation and gain access to the cells of the inner ear. However, research in novel therapeutics and delivery systems has led to significant progress in the development of local methods of drug delivery to the inner ear. Intratympanic approaches, which deliver therapeutics to the middle ear, rely on permeation through tissue for access to the structures of the inner ear, whereas intracochlear methods are able to directly insert drugs into the inner ear. Innovative drug delivery systems to treat various inner ear ailments such as ototoxicity, sudden sensorineural hearing loss, autoimmune inner ear disease, and for preserving neurons and regenerating sensory cells are being explored.

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