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Kate Xie, Elena Liang, Junming Cai, Priscilla Quynh-Phuong Vu, Steven Carter, Albert Yee, Marjan Farid; In quest of a novel artificial cornea using biomimetic nanotopography: initial studies in the New Zealand white rabbit. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):1317.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We have previously described a novel design of an artificial cornea that uses differential surface nanotexturing to minimize bacterial adherence and improve integration into the human cornea. This study shows initial partial-thickness implantation results in the New Zealand white rabbit to address durability and integration of this device.
Two artificial cornea prototypes made from polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) with a central antimicrobial nanotopography onlay were implanted into the right eyes of 2 New Zealand white rabbits. In one rabbit, a crescent blade was used to create a plane within the stroma to place the skirt of the device. In the other, the femtosecond laser was used to create a plane within the stroma. Slit lamp and anterior segment optical coherence tomography photos were obtained twice a week for the first week, then weekly over a one-month period. The rabbits were sacrificed at one month post-implantation. Both eyes were enucleated and fixed. Cultures were obtained from both the implanted eye and unoperated eye. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to evaluate enucleated eyes with and without the prototypes.
Our artificial cornea prototype was successfully implanted into the eyes of two rabbits. The femtosecond laser incision allowed for better initial apposition of epithelium to the implant. However, in both animals, there was a gap between the central optic edge and the cornea that increased over the one month period. Neovascularization occurred into the gap between implant and lamellar pocket. There were no instances of infection. There were no instances of extrusion. SEM images showed gross preservation of the nanostructures on the central optic. No microbial growth was observed in cultures from either the eye with the implant or control eye.
Partial thickness implantation of our artificial cornea prototype was tolerated in the rabbit model. Our nanotopography onlay was durable in the eyes of the rabbits for one month. The femtosecond laser can be used to dissect a stromal pocket and allow for precise trephination. Further design modifications will be made to the artificial cornea prototypes to minimize gap formation and promote epithelial adherence to the surface of the implant, and antimicrobial properties of the prototypes will be characterized.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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