International journal of molecular sciences

Biocompatibility of genipin and glutaraldehyde cross-linked chitosan materials in the anterior chamber of the eye.

PMID 23109832


Chitosan is a naturally occurring cationic polysaccharide and has attracted much attention in the past decade as an important ophthalmic biomaterial. We recently demonstrated that the genipin (GP) cross-linked chitosan is compatible with human retinal pigment epithelial cells. The present work aims to further investigate the in vivo biocompatibility of GP-treated chitosan (GP-chi group) by adopting the anterior chamber of a rabbit eye model. The glutaraldehyde (GTA) cross-linked samples (GTA-chi group) were used for comparison. The 7-mm-diameter membrane implants made from either non-cross-linked chitosan or chemically modified materials with a cross-linking degree of around 80% were inserted in the ocular anterior chamber for 24 weeks and characterized by slit-lamp and specular microscopic examinations, intraocular pressure measurements, and corneal thickness measurements. The interleukin-6 expressions at mRNA level were also detected by quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Results of clinical observations showed that the overall ocular scores in the GTA-chi groups were relatively high. In contrast, the rabbits bearing GP-chi implants in the anterior chamber of the eye exhibited no signs of ocular inflammation. As compared to the non-cross-linked counterparts, the GP-chi samples improved the preservation of corneal endothelial cell density and possessed better anti-inflammatory activities, indicating the benefit action of the GP cross-linker. In summary, the intracameral tissue response to the chemically modified chitosan materials strongly depends on the selection of cross-linking agents.

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