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Xiomara Calderon-Colon, Jennifer L. Breidenich, Qiongyu Guo, Dan Mulreany, Russell L. McCally, Manny 0. Uy, Jennifer Elisseeff, Jeffrey P. Maranchi, Oliver Schein, Morgana M. Trexler; Vitrified Collagen Gels with High Optical Transparency and Mechanical Strength for Ocular Repair. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):6494.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To optimize the mechanical and optical properties of collagen vitrigels for ocular repair.
Vitrigel preparation entails three main stages: mixing, gelation, and vitrification. Equal volumes of culture medium (Fetal Bovine Serum, 20 mM HEPES buffer in DMEM (Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium)) and 0.5% acid collagen solution are uniformly mixed. Gelation is initiated via incubation at 37 °C. During vitrification, time, temperature, and humidity are controlled. Following vitrification, the material is rehydrated with Phosphate Buffered Saline. Four vitrification times (0.5, 1, 2, and 5 weeks), 3 temperatures (5, 15, and 40°C), and 3 humidity levels (20, 40, and 60 %RH) were explored using a design of experiments and correlated with resulting optical transparency and mechanical properties.
Tailoring the synthesis parameters (time, temperature, and humidity) facilitates control of the transparency and mechanical strength of the biomaterial. Transparency is maximized (91 ± 9 % at 550 nm) via vitrification for 4.2 weeks at 21 °C and 20 % RH. For transparency, the most influential synthesis parameters are the quadratic and two-factor interactions of time*time, followed by temperature*temperature and temperature*humidity. Longer vitrification time yields higher strength and stiffness in preliminary mechanical testing.
Collagen vitrigels with optimized material properties can be synthesized by systematically controlling vitrification time, temperature, and humidity. These materials show promise for complex ocular reconstruction due to their biocompatibility, biodegradability, transparency and strength.
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