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Guillermo Mendoza, Judith Zavala, Marcos Garza-Madrid, Alejandro Tamez, Angel Zavala-Pompa, Gabriela Brito, Jorge Cortés_Ramirez, Jorge Valdez, Jennifer Elisseeff, Ophthalmology Research Chair; Biosafety of chitosan and collagen vitrigel membranes in the corneal endothelium of young New Zealand Rabbits. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):1666.
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To compare the biosafety of chitosan and collagen vitrigel membranes as scaffolds in corneal endothelium bioengineering.
Six 3 mo New Zealand rabbits were anesthetized and central corneal endothelium damage was induced in both eyes by using a cryoprobe. Seven mm diameter biomembranes were introduced in one eye through a peripheral corneal port. The contralateral eye was used as control. Four rabbits received chitosan biomembranes and two rabbits received collagen vitrigels. Animals were sacrificed after one week. Both corneas were excised and preserved in 10% formalin for histopathologic analysis with H&E staining.
The rabbits receiving chitosan-based biomembranes developed sclerocorneal-limbus vascular congestion, corneal opacity, and purulent exudates in the 48 h post-implant. On gross examination, white and friable matter of 2-3mm diameter was observed partially occupying the anterior chamber. Microscopic analysis showed a profuse and abundant inflammatory process (exudative phase) around the biomembrane, mainly composed of polymorphonuclear leukocytes, piocytes, cellular debris, and macrophages. The corneas were invaded by this inflammatory process, with thickening caused by polymorphonuclear infiltrates, edema and fragments of karyorrhexis. The corneas of rabbits treated with collagen-based biomembranes remained transparent and showed no changes after one week. Microscopic examination showed little signs of surgical manipulation and no inflammatory alterations. The control eyes retain their transparency and developed neither macroscopic alterations nor histological inflammation.
Chitosan-based biomembranes are not suitable for in vivo corneal endothelial bioengineering. Collagen vitrigels allowed damaged corneas of young rabbits to retain their transparent quality with no further complications. Collagen vitrigels are biocompatible and good candidates as scaffolds for corneal endothelial cell transplantation.
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