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Anna Dobias, Anna-Katharina Salz, Nina Harmening, Constance Ace, Peter Walter, Gabriele Thumann; Evaluation Of Ultra-thin Biocellulose Membranes For Ophthalmological Use. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):1994.
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Bioengineering of ophthalmic structures requires a biocompatible support for cell growth and proliferation. Here we haveexamined the biocompatibility of biocellulose membranes and whether these membranes support cell proliferation.
Cell viability, proliferation and morphology were assessed for ARPE-19 cells cultured on biocellulose membranes. Biocompatibility was examined by implanting 33 biocellulose membranes subconjunctivally. At 1, 3 and 5 weeks, eyes were enucleated and areas containing the implants were fixed in formalin, embedded in paraffin, sectioned and stained with H&E. Histological sections were analyzed for the presence of membrane degradation and inflammation.
On biocellulose membranes 100% of the cells were viable with only a rare dead cell observed; however cell proliferation was lower than for cells cultured on plastic. On biocellulose membranes cells appeared more compact and less spread than cells cultured on a plastic substratum. Biocellulose membranes implanted subconjunctivally demonstrated excellent biocompatibility similar to that observed with amniotic membranes, with only mild inflammation observed during the first week post implantation. Histological examination revealed no degradation of the membranes during a 5 weeks follow up. A few lymphocytes and giant cells were observed indicating a very minor foreign body reaction. Placed on the cornea the biocellulose membranes adapted perfectly to the convex corneal shape without folding. The membranes could be sutured (Vicryl-7) to the limbus without tearing when tensile force was applied.
The results show that the biocellulose biomaterial demonstrates very good biocompatibility as proven by the lack of inflammatory reactions at the site of implantation. The membranes are not toxic since cells remained viable and proliferated for a period of 3 weeks; however proliferation was slower than on plastic. Biocellulose membranes exhibit excellent deformability and satisfactory transparency, when applied to the corneal surface. Therefore, biocellulose membranes are a promising biomaterial for use as a repair matrix for corneal applications such as in corneal ulcers, for subconjunctival implants for the repair and protection of ophthalmic tissues and as a cell transfer sheet for the transplantation of cells where control of initial propagation rates is desirable.
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