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Lívia Santos, Maria Pia Ferraz, Yuki Shirosaki, Maria Ascensão Lopes, Maria Helena Fernandes, Akiyoshi Osaka, José Domingos Santos; Degradation Studies and Biological Behavior on an Artificial Cornea Material. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(7):4274-4281. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-6861.
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Patients with dry eye syndrome, Stevens–Johnson syndrome, or recurrent transplant rejections are unsuitable to receive a keratoprosthesis. The present work aims at developing a highly biocompatible keratoprosthesis that could be successfully implanted in such patients.
Glass-reinforced hydroxyapatite (GRHA) was used to construct this new artificial cornea. To grant the device an adequate porosity, a porogen agent was added in the following percentages: 10, 30, and 50%. Samples were physicochemically analyzed in terms of density, porosity, roughness, degradation, and surface imaging. Biological relevance was assessed by cell culture, MTT (3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrasodium bromide) assays, and cell imaging.
Samples B (30% porogen) and C (50% porogen) were found to be the most porous and also had the roughest topography. Degradation studies showed that under simulated physiologic conditions, no mass loss was found. Conversely, under acidic conditions, a significant mass loss was found. The biological performance of these samples was satisfactory when cultured with human fibroblasts. The MTT assay revealed that samples B and C had greater propensity to cell invasion and proliferation than that of the other tested materials. Cell imaging demonstrated that fibroblasts organized around the pore edges before colonizing it.
A material with physicochemical and biological characteristics close to an ideal artificial cornea has been fabricated. The GRHA cornea containing 30% porogen is the most promising substitute material due to the biological performance, adequate porosity, and low degradation propensity.
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