LiQD Cornea: Pro-regeneration collagen mimetics as patches and alternatives to corneal transplantation

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Science Advances  17 Jun 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 25, eaba2187
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba2187


Transplantation with donor corneas is the mainstay for treating corneal blindness, but a severe worldwide shortage necessitates the development of other treatment options. Corneal perforation from infection or inflammation is sealed with cyanoacrylate glue. However, the resulting cytotoxicity requires transplantation. LiQD Cornea is an alternative to conventional corneal transplantation and sealants. It is a cell-free, liquid hydrogel matrix for corneal regeneration, comprising short collagen-like peptides conjugated with polyethylene glycol and mixed with fibrinogen to promote adhesion within tissue defects. Gelation occurs spontaneously at body temperature within 5 min. Light exposure is not required—particularly advantageous because patients with corneal inflammation are typically photophobic. The self-assembling, fully defined, synthetic collagen analog is much less costly than human recombinant collagen and reduces the risk of immune rejection associated with xenogeneic materials. In situ gelation potentially allows for clinical application in outpatient clinics instead of operating theaters, maximizing practicality, and minimizing health care costs.

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