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Jessica L. Chen, Bryan Kim, Shintaro Kanayama, Max Maginness, Andrew Marshall, Louis Yang, Jing Zhang, Tueng T. Shen; Long Term In Vivo Implantation Of Artificial Cornea In A Rabbit Model. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):335.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To evaluate long term implantation of a prototype artificial cornea and its integration with host cornea in a rabbit model.
We have previously reported the development of a polymeric artificial cornea using Spherically Templated Angiogenic Regenerative biomaterial (STAR) technology with a one-piece mold design. Our prototype artificial cornea design consists of a 3 mm central clear optic window and 6 mm porous periphery (STAR). The prototypes were implanted onto rabbit corneas (n=12) with direct suturing using 10-0 Nylon on the surface of the rabbit corneas (n=9 lamellar, n=3 full thickness). The rabbits received standard post-operative medications and routine examinations. They were sacrificed at 4 months and 6 months post-operatively. The rabbit eyes were enucleated and implanted prototype optic clarity and mechanical strength of adhesion and cellular integrations were evaluated using optical microscopy, peel test, histology (hematoxylin and eosin, Trichrome), and high-resolution scanning electron microscopy.
All rabbits survived implantation surgery and no eyes were lost for the duration of the study due to infection or structural compromise. The device retention varied with surgical implantation techniques and adhesion strength of the implant is associated with the duration of the implantation. Both cellular integration and fibrosis were observed in the porous structure of the device. Inflammatory reactions of the host cornea were also observed.
Our prototype artificial cornea can be implanted using direct suturing in a rabbit model. The device was well tolerated in vivo in a rabbit model for up to 6 months without infection. The strength of the tissue integration is related to the duration of the implantation in vivo.
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