Photo courtesy of Advanced Functional Materials
Blue Light-Activating Injectable Biomimetic Material May Restore Corneal Health
An Injectable biomaterial triggered by pulsed low-energy blue light could be used to reshape and thicken damaged corneas, according to a press release issued by the University of Ottawa. (The research team was comprised of two members of the school’s faculty, along with two Université de Montréal scientists.)
“Our technology is a leap in the field of corneal repair,” Dr. Emilio Alarcon, one of the University of Ottawa researchers and an associate professor at the school, said in the press release. “We are confident this could become a practical solution to treat patients living with diseases that negatively impact corneal shape and geometry, including keratoconus.”
The biomaterials the research team engineered and tested were made up of viscous liquid-based short peptides and glycosaminoglycans that were injected within the corneal tissue after a pocket in the issue was made via surgery. Pulsed low-energy blue light then hardened the viscous liquid-based solution, molding it into a tissue-like 3D structure, within minutes, according to the press release. The injected biomaterials were used in vivo in both a rat and pig model successfully and sans side effects.
The research team acknowledged that testing in large animal models is a must before initiating human clinical trials. That said, Dr. Alarcon told the University of Ottawa that the research team anticipates the material will “remain stable and be non-toxic in human corneas.”
For the full study, visit https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adfm.202302721. CP