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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 May 7;54(5):3224-33. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-11799.

A fish scale-derived collagen matrix as artificial cornea in rats: properties and potential.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Leiden, The Netherlands.



A fish scale-derived collagen matrix (FSCM) is proposed as an alternative for human donor corneal tissue. Light scatter and light transmission of the FSCM were measured and compared with human cornea, and its short-term biocompatibility was tested in a rat model.


light scatter was determined with a straylight measuring device, whereas light transmission was measured using a broadband absorption spectrometer. for evaluation of the biocompatibiliy, three approaches were used: the FSCM was implanted as an anterior lamellar keratoplasty (ALK), placed in an interlamellar corneal pocket (IL), and placed subconjunctivally (SC). Transparency, neovascularization, and epithelial damage were followed for 21 days. Morphology and cellular infiltration were assessed histologically.


The amount of scattered light was comparable to that seen in early cataract and the percentage of light transmission was similar to the transmission through the human cornea. Implantation of the FSCM as an ALK led to mild haziness only, not obscuring the pupil, despite the development of neovascularization around the sutures; IL placement led to a moderate haze, partly obscuring the pupil, and to (partial) melting of the anterior corneal lamella. The SC group exhibited local swelling and induration, which decreased over time. Histology showed a chronic inflammation varying from mild and moderate in the ALK and IL group, to severe in the SC group.


In spite of technical difficulties, it was feasible to use the FSCM for ALK, whereas IL placement led to melting of the anterior lamella. Further studies are necessary for better understanding of its immunogenicity. The light scatter and transmission data show that the first version of this FSCM is comparable to human cornea tissue in this respect.


artificial cornea; biocompatibility; keratoprosthesis; transparency

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