Schnichels Lab

Neuroprotection & Drug Delivery

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Vitreous replacement

In surgical ophthalmology, the treatment of complex retinal and vitreous disorders is one of the key challenges. For this purpose, the vitreous body is removed (vitrectomy) and replaced by a temporary tamponade in order to stabilize the retina.

Common vitreous body substitutes (VBS) as silicon oils or gas tamponades have many undesired properties. Silicone oils, for example, are not biodegradable. Therefore, a second surgery to remove the endotamponade is usually necessary. Gases and silicone oils may yield beneficial anatomical outcomes; however, refractive changes and risks associated with current tamponades (e.g. secondary glaucoma) and the potential hazards of the second surgery in the case of silicone oils, have triggered a search for new biocompatible VBS.

In a collaboration project with Chroma-Pharma we tested a new VBS based on cross-linked hyaluronic acid in a model of retinal detachment in comparison to current standard treatment with silicone oil. Biocompatibility (inflammation, IOP, OCT, ERG) and effectiveness by means of a successful retinal detachment repair were investigated.

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