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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2012 Sep;100(9):2358-64. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.34178. Epub 2012 Apr 24.

Developing methacrylate-based copolymers as an artificial Bruch's membrane substitute.

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  • 1Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom.


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of blindness in the developed world. There is currently no treatment for the cellular loss, which is characteristic of AMD. Transplantation of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells represents a potential therapy. Because of AMD-related pathology in the native support, Bruch's membrane, transplanted RPE cells require a scaffold to reside on. We present here the development of an electrospun fibrous scaffold derived from methyl methacrylate and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) methacrylate for novel application as an RPE scaffold. Scaffolds were chemically modified to improve cell adhesion by functionalization not previously reported for this type of copolymer system. A human RPE cell line was used to investigate cell-scaffold interactions for up to two weeks in vitro. Scanning electron microscopy was used to characterize the fibrous scaffolds and confirm cell attachment. By day 15, cell area was significantly (p < 0.001) enhanced on scaffolds with chemical modification of the PEG chain terminus. In addition, significantly, less-apoptotic cell death was demonstrable on these modified surfaces.

Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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