Scientists explore potential of injectable biomaterial for corneal repair
Canadian researchers have described how the material could be activated by pulses of low-energy blue light
02 August 2023
New research published in Advanced Functional Materials has described how an injectable biomaterial could be used to help patients with thinning corneas.
The University of Ottawa and Université de Montréal scientists highlighted that the material is activated by pulses of low-energy blue light to reshape and thicken damaged sections of the cornea.
Dr Emilio Alarcon, of the University of Ottawa faculty of medicine, described the technology as “a leap in the field of corneal repair.”
“We are confident this could become a practical solution to treat patients living with diseases that negatively impact corneal shape and geometry, including keratoconus,” he said.
The biomaterial is composed of short peptides and naturally occurring polymers called glycosaminoglycans.
The material would be injected in the cornea as a viscous liquid. When exposed to pulses of low-energy blue light the material hardens and forms a 3D structure within minutes.
Testing in mice found that the material could thicken corneas without side effects.
“Our cumulative data indicates that the materials are non-toxic and remain for several weeks in an animal model. We anticipate our material will remain stable and be non-toxic in human corneas,” Alarcon shared.
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