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July 1988

Preliminary Evaluation of the Use of Mussel Adhesive Protein in Experimental Epikeratoplasty

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago (Dr Robin and Ms Salazar), and BioPolymers Inc, Farmington, Conn (Drs Picciano and Benedict and Mr Kusleika).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1988;106(7):973-977. doi:10.1001/archopht.1988.01060140119037

• We have used a preliminary formulation of a bioadhesive in an experimental model of epikeratoplasty in rabbits. The adhesive, termed mussel adhesive protein (MAP), is a repeating decapeptide polymer that is the natural adhesive substance produced by the common blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) and is used here in conjunction with an enzymatic cross-linking agent. This study marked the first in vivo use of this material in adhering ophthalmic tissue planes. We used a simplified epikeratoplasty technique highlighted by freehand dissection of donor lenticules and host keratotomies. Approximately 10 μL of a combination of MAP and the cross-linking agent was applied directly to the host cornea and the donor lenticules were secured into the keratotomies using eight interrupted 10-0 nylon sutures. All of the sutures were removed 72 hours postoperatively. Eleven of the 15 animals retained their epikeratoplasty lenticules throughout the entire postoperative period. Four animals had initially intact lenticules that sloughed within the first postoperative week; this sloughing, we believe, was attributable to difficulties in tucking irregularly thickened lenticule edges into the keratotomy. In control animals that had lenticules secured with sutures alone, suture removal at 72 hours consistently produced immediate lenticule sloughing. Clinical examinations and histopathologic studies disclosed no untoward effects of the adhesive on the donor or host corneal tissue. We believe that this preliminary study indicates a potential adjunctive role for MAP in epikeratoplasty.

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