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May 1989

Biodegradable Mechanical Retinal Fixation: A Pilot Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine (Drs Olsen and Fliesler and Messrs Parel and Hernandez), and the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Miami (Dr Olsen and Mr Lee). Dr Fliesler is now with the Bethesda Eye Institute, St Louis University School of Medicine.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1989;107(5):735-741. doi:10.1001/archopht.1989.01070010753040

• Mechanical retinal fixation is a useful tool in the armamentarium of vitreoretinal surgeons. Unfortunately, the use of metallic retinal tacks on a permanent basic mandates a retained intraocular foreign body that poses some potential for longrange toxic effects. Herein, we report the results of our initial experience with a temporary, biodegradable mechanical retinal fixation device ("biopin") in rabbits. When compared with metallic tacks, the biopins appeared to be well tolerated intraocularly, with minimal damage detectable at the light microscopic level. Disinsertion of the biopins occurred in 46% of the eyes within two weeks and in all eyes by four weeks. Initial signs of degradation of the biopins were observed at six weeks (median) in the lensectomized/vitrectomized eyes and at 12 weeks (median) in the nonvitrectomized eyes. Differences were found in the occurrence of retinal detachment between animals that underwent lensectomy/vitrectomy with insertion of two metallic tacks and animals that underwent insertion of one biopin without vitrectomy. The biopin has a potential as a vehicle for sustained release of pharmacologic agents to inhibit directly the development of vitreoretinal proliferation, thereby retarding or preventing subsequent retinal traction and detachment.

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