Activating an injectable biomaterial with pulses of blue light repairs the outer layer of the eye. (Artistic illustration)
The activation of a biomaterial by light makes it possible to restructure and thicken damaged corneal tissue, in addition to promoting healing, note the researchers in a press release published by the university.
Globally, more than 13 million people are waiting for transplants due to a shortage of corneas from human donors.
According to Professor Emilio Alarcon and colleagues, this technology could transform the field of corneal repair.
We believe this practical solution will help treat people with disorders that disrupt the shape and geometry of the cornea.
A quote from Emilio Alarcon, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa< /blockquote>
The biomaterials made by the team form a viscous liquid composed of short peptides and natural polymers. This hydrogel injected into a tiny pouch is attached to the corneal tissue and exposed to low-intensity blue light. It solidifies and forms a three-dimensional, tissue-like structure within minutes.
Our material is designed to harvest blue light energy to trigger the immediate transformation of the material into a cornea-like structure.
A quote from Emilio Alarcon, University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine
So far, in vivo experiments on a rat model have shown that the light-activated hydrogel thickens the cornea without causing any adverse effects.
The technology has also been successfully tested on an ex vivo model.of porcine cornea.
Our cumulative data indicate that the material is not toxic and lasts for several weeks in an animal model, notes the professor Alarcon.
However, other tests must be carried out on animals before considering clinical trials on humans.
We designed each element of the technology, from the light source to the molecules used. We created this technology in a way that makes it clinically applicable. In other words, so that its components are produced according to strict sterility standards.
A quote from Emilio Alarcon, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa
Moreover, the technology is the subject of a patent application.