Suitability of a fish scale-derived collagen matrix (FSCM) as artificial cornea

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A naturally occurring, easily obtainable fish scale-derived collagen matrix (FSCM) may be a cheap alternative to current keratoprostheses. We assessed its suitability by measuring light transmission, scattering, and immunogenicity.


Light transmission and scatter characteristics of the FSCM were measured. The FSCM was implanted subconjunctivally in rats, to assess swelling and neovascularization, and subcutaneously to observe the cellular immune response.


The FSCM had a light scattering of log(s) =1.62 and a light transmission of 90%. Local swelling and neovascularization appeared similar to an implant already used in glaucoma surgery. Both subcutaneous implants elicited an initial and mild immune reaction with only a few lymphocytes after 2.5 months, and did not induce immune sensitization. The FSCMs were well tolerated, while a small fibrous capsule was also observed.


We demonstrate that the first prototype of this easily obtainable, naturally occurring FSCM has proper optical clarity, and low immunogenicity. These properties demonstrate its potential as a candidate for reconstructing the avascular cornea.


Commercial interest

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