Photocurable GelMA adhesives for corneal perforations

Ines Pires Moedas De Almeida Barros, Kenny Man (Contributor), Thomas Robinson (Contributor), Sophie Cox (Contributor), Anita Ghag

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The current treatments for the management of corneal and scleral perforations include sutures and adhesives. While sutures are invasive, induce astigmatism and carry a risk of infection, cyanoacrylate glues are toxic, proinflammatory and form an opaque and rough surface that precludes vision. Consequently, the clinical need for a fast curing and strong tissue adhesive with minimised cytotoxicity and host inflammation remains unmet. In this paper, we engineer a gelatine methacryloyl (GelMA) adhesive that can be crosslinked in situ within 2 min using UV or visible light and a riboflavin (RF)/sodium persulfate (SPS) system. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) images demonstrated that the flowable GelMA adhesive could completely fill corneal wounds and restore the ocular curvature by forming a smooth contour on the ocular surface. Further, ex vivo studies in porcine eyes showed that GelMA bioadhesives exhibited burst pressures that were comparable to cyanoacrylates (49 ± 9 kPa), with the hydrogels exhibiting a transmittance (90%), water content (85%) and storage modulus (5 kPa) similar to the human cornea. Finally, using human dermal fibroblasts, we showed that our GelMA adhesive was non-toxic and could effectively support cell adhesion and proliferation. Taken together, the adhesive’s performance, injectability and ease of administration, together with gelatin’s availability and cost-effectiveness, make it a potential stromal filler or sealant for corneal and conjunctival applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number53
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2022


  • adhesives
  • cornea
  • gelatin


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