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Maria Borrelli, Patrick Bradenbrink, Stephan Reichl, David Finis, Gerd Geerling, Stefan Schrader; Keratin films in Ocular Surface Reconstruction: In Vivo Corneal Wound Healing Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):4717.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Although amniotic membrane (AM) transplantation is the gold standard for ocular surface reconstruction, keratin films (KF) have been proposed as an alternative carrier and have shown, to be suitable for corneal epithelial cell expansion in vitro and also revealed good biocompatibility in vivo. Aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of 90.10 KF to support corneal epithelial wound healing in a rabbit model of ocular surface reconstruction.
In accordance with ARVO statement for the use of animals in ophthalmic research, two groups of 15 New Zealand white rabbits underwent a 4 mm superficial keratectomy. In each group 5 animals received a 90.10 KF, five an AM while 5 control animals received no implant (C). Two series were performed, with a 10 day and a 4 week follow-up respectively. Slit lamp examinations were performed at regular intervals to grade corneal transparency, neovascularization and epithelial integrity. At the end of the experiment, the corneal scleral button was processed for histology.
After the 10 days follow up, all the controls, 3 of the AM and 2 of the KF implanted eyes showed a transparent cornea; no cornea neovascularization was observed and the corneal epithelial defect was healed in all rabbits; at the end of the 4weeks follow up transparent corneas were observed in all controls, in 3 AM and in 4 KF implanted eyes; cornea neovascularization was only observed in one of the eyes implanted with AM. The corneal epithelial defect was healed in all control eyes, in 3 AM and in 4 KF implanted eyes.
Keratin film based matrices support corneal epithelial wound healing and show good transparency after transplantation to the ocular surface in vivo. However, further studies will need to evaluate long-term stability of this new substrate for ocular surface reconstruction.
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