Factors affecting keratocyte colonisation of novel keratoprosthetic biomaterials
A Keratoprosthesis (KPro) which incorporates all of the features required for long-term retention within the cornea has yet to be developed. Integration is dependent on the induction of an adequate response to corneal injury with limited inflammation and a return to relative quiescence. The keratocyte repair response is central to corneal remodelling and may be disrupted by corneal ageing and the accumulation of senescent keratocytes. Since senescence associated disruption of keratocyte activity has the potential to inhibit KPro biointegration within the cornea, the following study sought to investigate aspects of the EKl.BR keratocyte repair response and changes occurring with senescence of cells in culture. The limitations of using cultured senescent EKl .BRs to make inferences about changes in keratocyte responsiveness in the ageing cornea were assessed by comparing migratory responsiveness with that of keratocytes derived from an elderly donor. A preliminary investigation of suitable KPro skirt materials, capable of enhancing keratocyte adhesion, was also carried out since keratocyte adhesion to the KPro periphery enhances integration within the cornea and may limit cellular downgrowth.