Decellularized Porcine Cornea-Based Hydrogels for Regeneration of Corneal Epithelium and Stroma
48 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2020
Hydrogels derived from decellularized tissues provide superior biocompatibility, tenability and tissue-specific extracellular matrix (ECM) components. Based on the preparation of decellularized porcine cornea (DPC), here we developed an injectable hydrogel, characterized the biocompatibility and transparency, and evaluated the use to repair corneal stromal defect in rabbit. Upon cross-linking with N-cyclohexyl-N′-(2-morpholinethyl) carbodiimide metho-p-toluenesulfonate (CMC), the DPC-based hydrogel assumed favorable transparency, exhibited distinct mechanical properties and preserved the ECM components of native porcine cornea (NPC). In vitro experiments showed that the hydrogel maintained the phenotype, supported the proliferation and promoted the ECM synthesis of corneal fibroblasts. When injected on rabbit corneas, the hydrogel rapidly covered, solidified and formed a smooth surface upon the focal defect. Corneal epithelium was fully regenerated within 3 days. The thickness of corneal epithelium and stroma was restored at 12 weeks postoperatively without significant inflammation and scar formation. Notably, the hydrogel showed no harmful effects on the resident stroma and endothelium. Considering to the advantages of low cost and ease of production and use, the DPC-based hydrogel may represent a promising biomaterial for corneal epithelial and stromal regeneration.
Keywords: Decellularized porcine cornea, hydrogel, corneal regeneration, extracellular matrix
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