A bioinspired synthetic soft hydrogel for the treatment of dry eye

Bioeng Transl Med. 2021 Jun 5;6(3):e10227. doi: 10.1002/btm2.10227. eCollection 2021 Sep.

ABSTRACT

Natural soft hydrogels are unique elastic soft materials utilized by living organisms for protecting delicate tissues. Under a theoretical framework derived from the Blob model, we chemically crosslinked high molecular weight hyaluronic acid at a concentration close to its overlap concentration (c*), and created synthetic soft hydrogels that exhibited unique rheological properties similar to a natural soft hydrogel: being dominantly elastic under low shear stress while being viscous when the stress is above a small threshold. We explored a potential application of the hyaluronic acid-based soft hydrogel as a long-acting ocular surface lubricant and evaluated its therapeutic effects for dry eye. The soft hydrogel was found to be biocompatible after topical instillation on experimental animals’ and companion dogs’ eyes. In a canine clinical study, twice-a-day ocular instillation of the soft hydrogel in combination with cyclosporine for 1 month improved the clinical signs in more than 65% of dog patients previously unresponsive to cyclosporine treatment.

PMID:34589602 | PMC:PMC8459603 | DOI:10.1002/btm2.10227

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