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D. Myung, L. Zheng, A. Bakri, A. Marshall, P.-E. Duhamel, M. Carrasco, J. Noolandi, J. Cochran, C. W. Frank, C. N. Ta; Development of a Novel Keratoprosthesis Based on Photolithographically Patterned, Biomimetic Hydrogels. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):1864.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The design and preliminary evaluation of a novel keratoprosthesis (Kpro) made by photolithography is presented. The goal is to develop a Kpro with improved in vivo stability through a novel biomimetic hydrogel construct that has the ability to support both surface epithelialization and peripheral tissue integration.
Hydrogels were synthesized and tested for their optical properties, mechanical properties, and water content. A photolithographic polymerization process was used to fabricate a one-piece Kpro with a central optical region and microperforated peripheral rim. Patterns with varying pore diameters (60 - 120 microns), spacings (10 - 20 microns), and distributions (grid or radial) were induced in the hydrogels with high fidelity using custom-made photomasks. The construct was then covalently tethered with collagen type I using a heterobifunctional, photoreactive crosslinker. The optical and peripheral components of the construct were tested for their capacity to support epithelialization and fibroblast adhesion, respectively, both in vitro and in vivo.
Several promising prototypes were developed, each with progressively improved properties. The current design consists of a core-and-skirt Kpro with central transparency of 90%, Young’s modulus and tensile strength greater than 3 MPa, and water content of 77%, values that approximate those of the natural cornea. The collagen-tethered hydrogels were also shown to support both corneal epithelial cell growth as well as corneal fibroblast adhesion.
A hydrogel with biomimetic optical and mechanical properties was developed. A photolithographic patterning process to fabricate a novel keratoprosthesis based on this hydrogel was established. Photochemical tethering of collagen type I was shown to facilitate the adhesion of corneal epithelial and fibroblast cells to the central and peripheral components of the construct, respectively.
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