Collagen-phosphorylcholine interpenetrating network hydrogels as corneal substitutes

Wenguang Liu, Chao Deng, Christopher R. McLaughlin, Per Fagerholm, Neil S. Lagali, Belinda Heyne, Juan C. Scaiano, Mitchell A. Watsky, Yasuhiro Kato, Rejean Munger, Naoshi Shinozaki, Fengfu Li, May Griffith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Scopus citations


A biointeractive collagen-phospholipid corneal substitute was fabricated from interpenetrating polymeric networks comprising 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethyl aminopropyl) carbodiimide and N-hydroxysuccinimide crosslinked porcine atelocollagen, and poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate crosslinked 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC). The resulting hydrogels showed an overall increase in mechanical strength beyond that of either original component and enhanced stability against enzymatic digestion (by collagenase) or UV degradation. More strikingly, these hydrogels retained the full biointeractive, cell friendly properties of collagen in promoting corneal cell and nerve in-growth and regeneration (despite MPC's known anti-adhesive properties). Measurements of refractive indices, white light transmission and backscatter showed the optical properties of collagen-MPC are comparable or superior to those of the human cornea. In addition, the glucose and albumin permeability were comparable to those of human corneas. Twelve-month post-implantation results of collagen-MPC hydrogels into mini-pigs showed regeneration of corneal tissue (epithelium, stroma) as well as the tear film and sensory nerves. We also show that porcine collagen can be substituted with recombinant human collagen, resulting in a fully-synthetic implant that is free from the potential risks of disease transmission (e.g. prions) present in animal source materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1551-1559
Number of pages9
Issue number8
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomedical regeneration
  • Cornea substitute
  • Phospholipid
  • Recombinant collagen
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Collagen-phosphorylcholine interpenetrating network hydrogels as corneal substitutes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this