Synthetic cornea: Biocompatibility and optics

Jean Marie Parel, Stephan Kaminski, Viviana Fernandez, Eduardo Alfonso, Peggy Lamar, Emmanuel Lacombe, Bernard Duchesne, Sander Dubovy, Fabrice Manns, Pascal O. Rol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose. Experimentally find a method to provide a safe surgical technique and an inexpensive and long lasting mesoplant for the restoration of vision in patients with bilateral corneal blindness due to ocular surface and stromal diseases. Methods. Identify the least invasive and the safest surgical technique for synthetic cornea implantation. Identify the most compatible biomaterials and the optimal shape a synthetic cornea must have to last a long time when implanted in vivo. Results. Penetrating procedures were deemed too invasive, time consuming, difficult and prone to long term complications. Therefore a non-penetrating delamination technique with central trephination was developed to preserve the integrity of Descemet's membrane and the anterior segment. Even though this approach limits the number of indications, it is acceptable since the majority of patients only have opacities in the stroma. The prosthesis was designed to fit in the removed tissue plane with its skirt fitted under the delaminated stroma. To improve retention, the trephination wall was made conical with the smallest opening on the anterior surface and a hat-shaped mesoplant was made to fit. The skirt was perforated in its perimeter to allow passage of nutrients and tissues ingrowths. To simplify the fabrication procedure, the haptic and optic were made of the same polymer. The intrastromal biocompatibility of several hydrogels was found superior to current clinically used PMMA and PTFE materials. Monobloc mesoplants made of 4 different materials were implanted in rabbits and followed weekly until extrusion occurred. Some remained optically clear allowing for fundus photography. Conclusions. Hydrogel synthetic corneas can be made to survive for periods longer than 1 year. ArF excimer laser photoablation studies are needed to determine the refractive correction potential of these mesoplants. A pilot FDA clinical trial is needed to assess the mesoplant efficacy and very long-term stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-128
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of SPIE-The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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