June 2017
Volume 58, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2017
Characterization of a collagen-based biomaterial for corneal transplantation: evaluation in a rabbit model
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Muthukumar Thangavelu
    Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKE) / Division of Neuro and Inflammation Sciences (NIV), Linköping University, Linkoping, Östergötlands , Sweden
    Department of Biomedical Engineering, Linköping University, Linkoping, Sweden
  • Maria Xeroudaki
    Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKE) / Division of Neuro and Inflammation Sciences (NIV), Linköping University, Linkoping, Östergötlands , Sweden
  • Mehrdad Rafat
    Department of Biomedical Engineering, Linköping University, Linkoping, Sweden
    LinkoCare Life Sciences AB, Linköping, Sweden, Linkoping, Sweden
  • Per Fagerholm
    Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKE) / Division of Neuro and Inflammation Sciences (NIV), Linköping University, Linkoping, Östergötlands , Sweden
  • Neil S Lagali
    Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKE) / Division of Neuro and Inflammation Sciences (NIV), Linköping University, Linkoping, Östergötlands , Sweden
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Muthukumar Thangavelu, None; Maria Xeroudaki, None; Mehrdad Rafat, LinkoCare Life Sciences AB (S); Per Fagerholm, None; Neil Lagali, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  This work was supported by the European Union Horizon2020 Research and Innovation Project ARREST BLINDNESS, Grant No. 667400-2.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2017, Vol.58, 1396. doi:
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      Muthukumar Thangavelu, Maria Xeroudaki, Mehrdad Rafat, Per Fagerholm, Neil S Lagali; Characterization of a collagen-based biomaterial for corneal transplantation: evaluation in a rabbit model. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):1396.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose :
To evaluate a bioengineered collagen construct (BPC) corneal implant using a femtosecond laser- assisted anterior lamellar keratoplasty rabbit models.

Methods : BPC corneal implants were fabricated using a carbodiamide- crosslinking system and characterized for their physiochemical properties using optical, mechanical and in vitro biocompatibility test methods. The optimum formulations were then tested in vivo. For in vivo study, 23 male New Zealand white albino rabbits were used. Two surgical techniques, both assisted by femtosecond laser were used to excise the rabbit cornea vertically at 7mm diameter and 280μm depth, including the epithelium and part of the stroma. Animals were divided into four different groups depending on the implant type (aurograft/BPC) and surgical technique (Flap/ALK). The first group were autograft (Auto Flap-ALK). The second group with the same procedure but with 440µm- thick BPC implants (BCP Flap-ALK). The third group were autograft (Auto-ALK) and the last group operated with femtosecond laser- assisted flap keratoplasty for the implantation of 280 µm- thick BPC (BCP-ALK). Rabbits were monitored up to months by optical coherence tomography and in vivo confocal microscopy. The rabbits were then sacrificed and their corneas excised and tested for immunohistochemistry.

Results :
The BPC had superior light transmission charactristics than rabbit and human donor cornea and were mechanically stable with optimum elasticity and biocompatibliblity toward Human Corneal Epithelial Cells (HCECs) . Among the two techniques used Flap-ALK method showed better results with no inflammation or rejection of the implants. The thicker BPC implants with deeper insertion were well-tolerated without any inflammation. The corneal thickness and transparency were maintained postoperatively. The results showed the migration of stromal fibroblasts in to the BCP implant and formation of newly synthesized collagen was observed.

Conclusions : The Flap-ALK method was found to be a better surgical technique for the implantation of thicker BPC scaffolds (cost effective) that can be an alternative method to support host cell infiltration and regeneration of the corneal stroma in vivo.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.

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