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T. Glonek, D. J. Levinson, E. Y. Tu, K. R. Kenyon, J. V. Greiner; A Microbial Cellulose Graft for Ocular Surface Defects. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):787.
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To determine whether a bacterial cellulose derived from a Gluconobacter xylinoides subspecies is an effective wound dressing for corneal surface injuries.
A G. xylinoides cellulose film was engineered to approximate the size and shape of a 10.0 mm, thin-bandage contact lens. Testing of this microbial cellulose graft material using the pigmented rabbit model (N=6 trials) was conducted following de-epithelialization of the cornea. De-epithelialization was performed by marking the corneal surface with a 9.0 mm trephine and then scraping with a #11 Bard-Parker scalpel blade. Fluorescein staining was used to verify epithelial removal. The control eye was the contralateral eye. Animal care approval was obtained. After placing the microbial cellulose graft material on the corneal surface, a tarsorrhaphy was performed using a single suture. The endpoint was a re-epithelialized corneal surface and/or dissolution of the microbial cellulose graft, as determined by fluorescein staining observed through biomicroscopic examination with a cobalt blue light.
The microbial cellulose grafts caused no observable discomfort to the rabbits (rubbing, pawing of the lids, other atypical cage behavior). The rabbits re-epithelialized, as measured by no evidence of fluorescein staining, within 24 hr following grafting using the pre-formed cellulose film. Corneas were clear and compact. Rabbits gave no indications of discomfort throughout the 24-hr time-course, and in two instances the grafts appeared to have dissolved.
Use of the microbial cellulose corneal wound graft promotes corneal healing following de-epithelialization surgery and has potential as a useful material for injured corneal surfaces. These findings using a microbial cellulose material are consistent with those of other on-going studies involving cutaneous wounds, where wound closure was observed to occur at a significantly greater rate of healing in contrast to other standard-of-care treatments.
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