Biopolymers photografted on polyester membranes: the PBM-BPHOT vision on how to treat the eye

01 January 2015 → 31 December 2020
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Applied mathematics in specific fields
    • Astronomy and space sciences
    • Classical physics
    • Materials physics
    • Mathematical physics
    • Quantum physics
Project description

Despite enormous efforts and advances in the clinical treatment of eye diseases, there is no

established method to prevent or cure degenerative processes in the eye including age-related

macular degeneration (AMD). The present project will apply the know-how gathered to date on the

development of retinal implants as starting point and brings together a consortium combining a

track record in the ocular field (PBM, UGent) and the state-of-the-art technological capabilities to

realize surface patterning through direct laser writing (DLW) and subsequent functionalization using

multiphoton photografting (B-PHOT, VUB) with the aim to develop an optimal transplantation

support (i.e. ocular membrane) for retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). As substrate materials to

function as RPE support, polyester-based biodegradable membranes will be developed. Next, a

series of gelatin-based hydrogel precursors will be developed and patterned onto the polyester

sheets using DLW. Finally, the hydrogel structures will be functionalized with biomimetic

compounds including laminin, fibronectin and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor drugs through

multiphoton photografting. In order to evaluate the potential of the ocular implants developed

towards their application aimed at, in vitro biological assays will also be performed.