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Biocompatibility of a Synthetic Biopolymer for the Treatment of Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment


The aim of this study is to evaluate the retinal safety and toxicity of a novel synthetic biopolymer to be used as a patch to treat rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. Thirty one adult wild type albino mice were divided in 2 groups. In Group A (n=9) 0.2 μl balanced salt solution (BSS) and in Group B (n=22), 0.2 μl biopolymer was injected in the subretinal space. Trans-scleral subretinal injection was performed in one eye and the fellow eye was used as control. In both groups, in vivo color fundus photography, electroretinogram (ERG), spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) were performed before injection and at days 7 and 14 post-intervention. Histological analysis was performed following euthanization at days 1, 7 and 21 post-injection. The biopolymer was visualized in the subretinal space in vivo by SD-OCT and post-life by histology up to 1 week after the injection. There were no significant differences in ERG parameters between the two groups at 1 and 2 weeks post-injection. Minimal inflammatory response and loss of photoreceptor cells was only observed in the immediate proximity of the site of scleral perforation, which was similar in both groups. Overall integrity of the outer, inner retina and retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) layers was unaffected by the presence of the biopolymer in the subretinal space. Functional and histological evaluation suggests that the synthetic biopolymer is non-inflammatory and non-toxic to the eye. It may represent a safe therapeutic agent in the future, for the treatment of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment.

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