Corneal Stroma Regeneration with Collagen-Based Hydrogel as an Artificial Stroma Equivalent: A Comprehensive In Vivo Study
Restoring the anatomical and functional characteristics of the cornea using various biomaterials is especially relevant in the context of a global shortage of donor tissue. Such biomaterials must be biocompatible, strong, and transparent. Here, we report a Viscoll collagen membrane with mechanical and optical properties suitable for replacing damaged stromal tissue. After removing a portion of the stroma, a Viscoll collagen membrane was implanted into the corneas of rabbits. After 6 months, the active migration of host cells into Viscoll collagen membranes was noted, with the preservation of corneal transparency in all experimental animals. Effective integration of the Viscoll collagen membrane with corneal tissue promoted nerve regeneration in vivo, as confirmed by in vivo confocal microscopy. We also demonstrated the safety and efficacy of the Viscoll collagen membrane for corneal stroma regeneration. Thus, in combination with the proposed packaging format that provides long-term storage of up to 10 months, this material has great potential for replacing and regenerating damaged stromal tissues.
Publication date: 26/09/2022
Author: Egor Olegovich Osidak
Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym14194017