ToF-SIMS analysis of dexamethasone distribution in the isolated perfused eye

Jenifer Mains, Clive G. Wilson, Andrew Urquhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


To illustrate the ability of time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) to characterise and demonstrate the spatial distribution of dexamethasone within ocular tissues. Dexamethasone sodium phosphate was administrated to perfused and non-perfused ovine eyes via intravitreal injections. The vitreous humor, the lens and the retina of the eyes were then removed and divided into front, middle and back sections. ToF-SIMS analysis was performed on each cross sections of the vitreous humor using Bi3+ cluster source and images of drug distribution within the sections generated. In the positive ion spectra, four key drug fragment peaks were identified and in the negative ion spectra, one key drug peak was identified. All five important drug peaks were successfully imaged in each tissue section and their distribution within the section illustrated. The drug was shown in the non-living eye to move by diffusion alone, whereas in the living eye the drug was shown to distribute faster within the vitreous and penetrate through to the back of the retina and also into the lens. The results illustrate the ability of ToF-SIMS to characterise and provide spatial information about drug distribution within ocular tissues. Key differences in drug movement through the vitreous humor, towards both the anterior and posterior tissues, in the living eye and the non-living ovine eye were demonstrated, showing that dexamethasone sodium phosphate distribution through the vitreous is not determined by diffusion alone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8413-8419
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number11
Early online date22 Sep 2011
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 2011


  • time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry
  • TOF-SIMS analysis
  • dexamethasone
  • ocular tissues
  • ovine
  • perfused eye
  • TIC - Bionanotechnology


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