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A. Bakri, N. Farooqui, D. Myung, W.G. Koh, J. Noolandi, M. Carrasco, C. Frank, C.N. Ta; Biocompatibility of a Hydrogel Corneal Inlay in vivo . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):3592.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Due to various favorable properties, poly(ethylene glycol)/poly(acrylic acid) (PEG/PAA) double network hydrogels are excellent candidates for corneal implant procedures such as corneal inlays for refractive correction, and full–thickness keratoprostheses. This study assessed the in vivo biocompatibility of PEG/PAA double network hydrogels.
PEG/PAA DN hydrogels were cut into lenticules 3.5mm in diameter and 100 microns in thickness with a sterile skin biopsy trephine punch. After achieving adequate proptosis of the respective eye, a LASIK flap 8.5mm in diameter and 160 microns thick was made using a Hansatome microkeratome in one eye of 10 rabbits. A lenticule was placed under the corneal flap of 8 rabbits, with 2 rabbits acting as controls. All flaps were sutured down using 10–0 nylon sutures, and the lids were closed by tarsorraphy. Neomycin, Polymyxin B, and Dexamethasone combination drops were given TID for 7 days. Regular clinical examinations were conducted under a Zeiss surgical microscope. Tarsorraphy sutures were removed on post–operative day 2, and corneal sutures on post–operative day 5. The rabbits were euthanized at post–operative day 14 for light microscopy analysis.
On clinical examination, no eyes showed any signs of infection, inflammation, corneal edema, or neovascularization. Upon fluorescein staining, there were no areas of epithelial defect and tissue overlying the hydrogel implant was healthy. One implant showed protrusion of its edge through the overlying stromal tissue. Corneal culture ruled out concurrent infection as the cause. Light microscopy showed absence of any inflammatory cells or fibrotic reaction to the PEG/PAA double network implant. Overlying epithelium was adherent and stratified.
PEG/PAA double network hydrogels showed excellent short–term biocompatibility in the rabbit model and thus is a suitable candidate material for various corneal applications.
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