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K. A. Kobuch, M. Maier, N. Feucht, A. Wolfstein, D. Streufert, C. P. Lohmann; A Multifunctional Hydrogel System for Local Application on the Retina: Experimental Evaluation in Rabbit Eyes. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):3590.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
A multifunctional "retina patch" for the treatment of retinal breaks and local drug application has been developed, consisting of a hydrogel matrix with an incorporated drug delivery system. In vitro tests have shown the feasibility of the system with respect to the physical and chemical properties of the gel, biodegradation, incorporation of Triamcinolonacetonid, biocompatibility and handling (ARVO 2009, program number 4442). The hydrogel was now evaluated in vivo in rabbit eyes with respect to the surgical technique, in vivo biocompatibility, biostability, retinal adhesion, prevention of cellular migration and proliferation.
A hydrogel-foil from hyaluronic acid crosslinked by 80% Diepoxybutan, size 2x3 mm, 1mm thick, stained with brilliant blue, was implanted into 1 eye of a total number of 10 rabbits after pars plana vitrectomy, in 3 of them after intentional retinal break, in another 3 of them after additional lensectomy. The gel-patch was injected into the eye with the help of an injector system through a 2.5mm sclerotomy and placed on the retina or on a retinal hole under balanced salt solution or air. After an observation period of 2 weeks or 6 weeks respectively, the animals were sacrificed; the treated eyes were enucleated and processed for histology (light microscopy).
The gel-patch could be injected into the vitreous cavity with the injector system. Exact placement of the patch on the retina or a retinal break was difficult in cases where a strong flow rate of the intraocular infusion was necessary for stabilisation of the eye. The biocompatibility of the hydrogel was excellent in all eyes without any inflammatory reaction. The gel remained solid and optically clear and showed good adherence to the retinal tissue. There was no cellular reaction or proliferation in the area around the gel or cellular migration and proliferation within the gel. Histology showed no signs of alterations caused by the implant.
The cross linked hyaluronic acid hydrogel showed excellent intraocular biocompatibility in vivo in rabbit eyes. However, the surgical technique for implantation should be facilitated by improved mechanical properties of the gel for injection through a minimized incision. The good retinal adherence of the patch and absence of cellular proliferation in and around the gel indicate the suitability as a retinal patch for reduction of cell-migration and PVR after a retinal break and for local drug delivery.
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