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Margaret D. M. Evans, Ruo Zhong Xie, Mirella Fabbri, Michele C. Madigan, Hassan Chaouk, Gerrit J. Beumer, Gordon F. Meijs, Hans J. Griesser, John G. Steele, Deborah F. Sweeney; Epithelialization of a Synthetic Polymer in the Feline Cornea: a Preliminary Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000;41(7):1674-1680. doi: https://doi.org/.
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purpose. This study examined the potential of a synthetic polymer to support
stable epithelial growth when implanted in the feline cornea.
methods. A perfluoropolyether-based polymer was cast into lenticules that were
coated with collagen I and implanted in four feline corneas. Epithelial
growth onto the lenticules was monitored clinically for 6 weeks, after
which time the animals were killed, and three corneas were evaluated
histologically. Immunohistochemistry was used to identify proteins
associated with the formation of a basement membrane (laminin) and
adhesion complexes (bullous pemphigoid antigen and collagen VII).
Electron microscopy was used to examine the tissue–polymer interface
for evidence of the assembly of these adhesive structures.
results. Postoperative epithelial growth began on days 2 to 3, and lenticules
were fully epithelialized by days 5 to 9. Lenticules were clinically
well tolerated and histology showed epithelium consisting of multiple
layers adherent to the lenticule’s surface. Laminin, bullous
pemphigoid antigen and collagen VII were identified at the
tissue–polymer interface using immunohistochemistry. Ultrastructural
examination showed evidence of assembly of these proteins into a
recognizable basement membrane and hemidesmosomal plaques.
conclusions. A perfluoropolyether-based polymer coated with collagen I was implanted
in the feline cornea and supported epithelial growth that showed signs
of persistent adhesion, both clinically and histologically. This
polymer shows potential for ophthalmic applications that require
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