Corneal reshaping: an experiment with a type I collagen-based vitrigel for remodeling porcine corneas

Arq Bras Oftalmol. 2023 Mar 24:S0004-27492023005002307. doi: 10.5935/0004-2749.2022-0128. Online ahead of print.


Purpose: This study aimed to report an experiment designed to determine anatomical changes in porcine corneas following placement of a novel polymer implant into the cornea.

Methods: An ex vivo porcine eye model was used. A novel type I collagen-based vitrigel implant (6 mm in diameter) was shaped with an excimer laser on the posterior surface to create three planoconcave shapes. Implants were inserted into a manually dissected stromal pocket at a depth of approximately 200 μm. Three treatment groups were defined: group A (n=3), maximal ablation depth 70 μm; Group B (n=3), maximal ablation depth 64 μm; and group C (n=3), maximal ablation depth 104 μm, with a central hole. A control group (D, n=3) was included, in which a stromal pocket was created but biomaterial was not inserted. Eyes were evaluated by optical coherence tomography (OCT) and corneal tomography.

Results: Corneal tomography showed a trend for a decreased mean keratometry in all four groups. Optical coherence tomography showed corneas with implants placed within the anterior stroma and visible flattening, whereas the corneas in the control group did not qualitatively change shape.

Conclusions: The novel planoconcave biomaterial implant described herein could reshape the cornea in an ex vivo model, resulting in the flattening of the cornea. Further studies are needed using in vivo animal models to confirm such findings.