Interpenetrating polymer network hydrogel scaffolds for artificial cornea periphery
Three-dimensional scaffolds based on inverted colloidal crystals (ICCs) were fabricated from sequentially polymerized interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) hydrogels of poly(ethyleneglycol) and poly(acrylic acid). This high-strength, high-water-content IPN hydrogel may be suitable for use in an artificial cornea application. Development of a highly porous, biointegrable region at the periphery of the artificial cornea device is critical to long-term retention of the implant. The ICC fabrication technique produced scaffolds with well-controlled, tunable pore and channel dimensions. When surface functionalized with extracellular matrix proteins, corneal fibroblasts were successfully cultured on IPN hydrogel scaffolds, demonstrating the feasibility of these gels as materials for the artificial cornea porous periphery. Porous hydrogels with and without cells were visualized non-invasively in the hydrated state using variable-pressure scanning electron microscopy.
KeywordsInterpenetrate Polymer Network Corneal Epithelial Cell Polystyrene Microsphere Hydrogel Scaffold Hydrogel Surface
The authors acknowledge the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant R01 EY016987-03 and the Singapore Eye Research Institute for funding.
- 2.National Advisory Eye Council. National plan for eye and vision research. National Institutes of Health; 2004.Google Scholar
- 3.Whitcher JP, Srinivasan M, Upadhyay MP. Corneal blindness: a global perspective. Bull. World Health Org. 2001;79:214–21.Google Scholar
- 11.Elsheikh A, Wang D, Pye D. Determination of the modulus of elasticity of the human cornea. J Refract Surg. 2007;23:808–18.Google Scholar