University of Central Florida scientists are reporting in the latest issue of the Journal of Physical Chemistry B that cerium oxide nanoparticles (nanoceria), a common ingredient in oven cleaners, not only inhibits carbonic anhydrase II enzyme, but also tends to have pretty good absorption rates across the cornea.
In a study scheduled for the June 28 issue of ACS’s Journal of Physical Chemistry B (“Surface-Derivatized Nanoceria with Human Carbonic Anhydrase II Inhibitors and Fluorophores: A Potential Drug Delivery Device”), a weekly publication, Sudipta Seal and Sanku Mallik describe early laboratory tests of cerium oxide nanoparticles (nanoceria) as drug delivery vehicles.
Mallik and Seal note that barely 1-3 percent of existing glaucoma medicines penetrate into the eye, whereas experiments by other groups have shown high penetration rates for nanoparticles without undue patient discomfort from scratching. They combined nanoceria with a compound that blocks activity of an enzyme (hCAII) believed to play a central role in glaucoma. That disease involves abnormally high pressure of the fluid inside the eye, which, if left untreated, can result in damage to the optic nerve and vision loss. High pressure occurs, in part, because of a buildup of carbon dioxide inside the eye, and the compound blocks an enzyme that produces carbon dioxide.
“These results are very promising, and more studies will likely evolve into an inhibition of hCAII in living cells and an effective treatment for glaucoma and other diseases,” their report states. “Furthermore, inhibitors for other pathogenic enzymes can be immobilized on the nanoceria and applied to the enzymes. The potential applications for functionalized cerium oxide nanoparticles seem limitless as a potential nontoxic drug delivery tool.”