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Katelyn E Swindle-Reilly, Sophie A. Carus, Katrina M. Schroeder, Lauren M. Shingler, Nguyen Khoi Tram, Heather L Chandler; Influence of Substrate Chemical and Mechanical Properties on Lens Epithelial Cell Behavior. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):3193.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The goal of this research is to develop polymers to prevent posterior capsule opacification (PCO) by inhibiting adhesion of lens epithelial cells (LECs). PCO is the most common complication of cataract surgery, reported in as many as half of all patients 2-5 years after surgery. Previous studies demonstrate conflicting evidence about the impact of intraocular lens (IOL) hydrophilicity on LEC adhesion. These conflicting reports indicate that there is likely an optimal intermediate surface energy, or that there may be another factor in addition to surface energy that is influencing LEC response. This study seeks to determine both the chemical and mechanical factors that influence LEC adhesion and proliferation.
A series of amphiphilic polymers covering a range of surface energies ranging from very hydrophilic to very hydrophobic were synthesized by free radical copolymerization. The monomers used in designing the amphiphilic polymers have been used previously in ophthalmic devices such as contact lenses and IOLs. Mechanical properties of the polymers were modified by changing the degree of crosslinking. Both the chemical and mechanical properties of the polymer films were evaluated. These polymers were used to coat the wells of tissue culture plates, and canine LECs were seeded using standard growth conditions. Phase contrast microscopy was used to evaluate cell adhesion and proliferation every 24 hours for 7 days.
Preliminary results indicate canine LECs did not adhere to the more hydrophilic surfaces. LEC adhesion increased with increasing incorporation of the hydrophobic component in the polymer. Initial findings also indicate canine LECs had less adhesion to polymers with lower crosslinking content, indicating preferential attachment on stiffer surfaces. The polymers were not cytotoxic to the LECs, indicating surface properties such as degree of hydrophilicity and stiffness influenced LEC adhesion and proliferation.
This study shed some light on the chemical and mechanical interactions influencing LEC adhesion. Future studies will focus on investigating the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of LECs on these surfaces and further optimizing the chemical and mechanical properties of the amphiphilic polymer films to inhibition LEC adhesion without the use of pharmacological agents.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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