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L. M. Franco, M. Uhlenhuth, A. Osasona, W. Vayaboury, C. Scholz, D. Shire, J. F. Rizzo, H. J. Kaplan, V. Enzmann; In vitro Biocompatibility of Polymers Used in the Fabrication of Microelectrode Arrays. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):672.
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This work is related to the efforts of the Boston Retinal Implant Project to develop a sub-retinal prosthesis to restore vision to the blind. The specific purpose of the presentation is to test the in vitro biocompatibility of polymers used to manufacture and coat microelectrode arrays (MEA).
Mouse retinal pigmented epithelium (mRPE) cells at different passages were used for this study. The matrix polymers tested were polyimide and parylene. The coating polymers tested were block co-polymers with polyethylene glycol (PEG) being the common base attached to a PLL (poly-lysine), PLGA (poly-glutamic acid) or PLAA (poly-aspartic acid) polymer with a known number of units. Each coating polymer was either thiolated (-SH) or non-thiolated. Viability and proliferation assessments were performed on the matrix polymer types using a trypan blue exclusion test and MTT test, respectively, and a live/dead assay was used to assess cytotoxicity. For the coating polymers, RPE cell attachment/detachment was tested as well as viability (% of live cells) using the live/dead assay.
To study the matrix polymers, the viability, proliferation and cytotoxicity tests compared three groups: control, polyimide and parylene. The viability and cytotoxicity tests showed no significant difference between either material or the control; for the proliferation test, only one test out of 32 showed a significant difference. For the coating polymers, the average viability (% of live cells) across the polymers showed no significant difference when compared to the control. Attachment/detachment measurements showed differences between the thiolated and non-thiolated groups but no differences were statistically signficant.
Our results showed that the polymers used in this study were biocompatible with RPE cells, making them possible candidates in the manufacture and development of the MEA.
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