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Surv Ophthalmol. 1997 Sep-Oct;42(2):175-89.

Keratoprostheses: advancing toward a true artificial cornea.

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Lions Eye Institute, Nedlands, Western Australia.


Keratoprosthesis surgery is carried out in very few centers. Elaborate surgical techniques and high complication rates limit the application of currently available keratoprostheses (KPros). However, the clinical need for an alternative to donor tissue has sparked considerable research interest in the development of new KPros. This paper charts the evolution of KPros from the earliest devices to those currently used, describes their drawbacks and discusses the specifications of an ideal device. Recent research focuses upon the use of porous polymers as the skirt component of core-and-skirt KPros in order to obtain improved biological integration of the prosthetic material. Developments in biomaterials technology make a KPro analogous to a donor corneal button an increasingly realistic goal. However, two particular problems still need to be addressed. First, it must be demonstrated that secure long-term fixation that is able to withstand trauma is achievable in a full-thickness artificial cornea. Second, an ideal artificial cornea for a wet eye requires an epithelialized surface, and this has yet to be achieved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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