Materials science & engineering. C, Materials for biological applications

Collagen based film with well epithelial and stromal regeneration as corneal repair materials: Improving mechanical property by crosslinking with citric acid.

PMID 26117756


Corneal disease can lead to vision loss. It has become the second greatest cause of blindness in the world, and keratoplasty is considered as an effective treatment method. This paper presents the crosslinked collagen (Col)-citric acid (CA) films developed by making use of 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide (EDC) and N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS). The results showed that the Col-CA films had necessary optical performance, water content. The collagenase resistance of CA crosslinked films was superior to that of EDC crosslinked films. And CA5 film (Col:CA:EDC:NHS=60:3:10:10) had the best mechanical properties. Cell experiments showed that CA5 film was non-cytotoxic and human corneal epithelial cells could proliferate well on the films. Lamellar keratoplasty showed that the CA5 film could be sutured in the rabbit eyes and was epithelialized completely in about 10 days, and the transparency was restored quickly in 30±5 days. No inflammation and corneal neovascularization were observed at 6 months. Corneal stroma had been repaired; stromal cells and neo-stroma could be seen in the area of operation from the hematoxylin-eosin stained histologic sections and anterior segment optical coherence tomography images. These results indicated that Col-CA films were highly promising biomaterials that could be used in corneal tissue engineering and a variety of other tissue engineering applications.