Synthetic Bandages for Ocular Injury Treatment
Christopher Tison, PhD, Research Scientist Lauren Costella, Associate Scientist Biomedical Technologies Group Ocular Injuries are Widespread and Inefficiently Treated The likelihood of restoring vision to the 1.5 to 2.0 million patients sustaining ocular trauma each year is directly related to immediate management of the injury. Having access to the appropriate ocular repair dressing, cleansing solutions and antibiotics is therefore critical for restoring function and minimizing tissue loss. The current treatments for ocular trauma such as the application (via suturing) of human amniotic membrane, while effective in some applications, is inadequate due to cost, fragility, and availability in all but the most advanced surgical settings. Therefore, a defined need exists for alternative technologies that Luna is prepared to meet with its biologically-inspired ocular repair dressing known as BIOcular™.
BIOcular™ is an Advanced Synthetic Dressing In Luna’s BIOcular™ dressings, the healing properties of the amniotic membrane are mimicked in an improved hydrogel material, and the mechanical properties are enhanced using nanofiber reinforcements that effectively mimic the minimally vascularized and highly oriented natural structure of ocular tissue. The simultaneous deposition of hydrogel with electrospun nanofibers creates a nanofiber-reinforced matrix that simulates the physical structure of the eye, with aligned nanofibers supporting the scar-reducing, growth-stimulating hydrogel. The dressing is designed to naturally resorb over time, will provide bacteria penetration resistance, and will be compatible with both traditional and sutureless bonding techniques. The dressing has a refractive index of 1.335 (cornea is 1.38), visible light transmission of 85%, is compatible with primary human corneal epithelial cells, and the degradation can be controlled for between 5 minutes and 4 weeks. BIOcular™ Dressings have a Bright Future The base BIOcular™ dressing is being developed as a platform technology for a family of products to be adapted to suit a multitude of ocular applications. Luna envisions the application of its BIOcular™ dressing as a corneal-surface repair material, but also as a therapeutic delivery device, or a cell-seeded scaffold for use primarily in wound healing and ocular repair. In related programs, Luna has demonstrated controlled release of Lidocaine from nanofiber-based dressings. Luna is now expanding this research to include the controlled release of other therapeutics, growth factors, and antimicrobial agents of direct relevance to eye health.
Luna will be presenting its BIOcular™ dressing development efforts during the upcoming Society for Biomaterials Spring Meeting. Please attend our podium presentation in Charlotte, NC at 5:00 pm on April 16, 2015 and discuss this exciting technology with us! Read here for more information.