A self-healing hydrogel eye drop for the sustained delivery of decorin to prevent corneal scarring

Gurpreet Chouhan, Richard J A Moakes, Maryam Esmaeili, Lisa J Hill, Felicity deCogan, Joseph Hardwicke, Saaeha Rauz, Ann Logan, Liam M Grover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
462 Downloads (Pure)


Scarring/Opacity on the surface of the eye and vascularisation following infectious diseases, inflammation and corneal trauma are often a leading cause of blindness. The 'gold standard' treatment to prevent corneal scarring is the application of amniotic membrane (AM) to the ocular surface in the acute stage of injury. Although clinically effective, the use of the AM is associated with biological variability and unpredictable responses. Potential health risks including disease transmission, significant ethical issues surrounding the tissue donation process and stringent regulations/storage conditions, preclude widespread use. Consequently, there is a demand for the development of a new, synthetic alternative, that is stable at room temperature, capable of protecting the wound and has the capacity to deliver anti-scarring and anti-inflammatory mediators. Here we have developed a micro-structured fluid gel eye drop, to deliver a potent anti-scarring molecule, decorin. We have compared the release of decorin from the formulated dressing to a typical gel film, demonstrating enhanced release for the fluid gel eye-drops. Therefore, we have investigated the effect of the fluid gel system in 2D human corneal fibroblast culture models, as well as shown the retention of the gellan fluid gel in an in vivo rat model. At the same time the efficacy of the fluid gel eye drop was studied in an organ culture model, whereby the fluid gel containing decorin, significantly (P < 0.05) increased re-epithelialisation within 4 days of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
Early online date20 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • Anti-scarring
  • Controlled delivery
  • Decorin
  • Fluid gels
  • Regenerative medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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