A clinical research team led by Reza Dana, MD, MSc, MPH, the Claes H. Dohlman Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Cornea and Refractive Surgery Service at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, have developed a biomaterial for corneal repair and regeneration that could circumvent the need for corneal transplant surgeries. The new technology, named GelCORE (gel for corneal regeneration), is an adhesive gel packed with light-activated chemicals that can seal cuts or ulcers on the cornea and then encourage the regeneration of corneal tissue.
“Our hope is that this biomaterial could fill in a major gap in technology available to treat corneal injuries,” said Dr. Dana. “We set out to create a material that is clear, strongly adhesive, and permits the cornea to not only close the defect, but also to regenerate. We wanted this material to allow the cells of the cornea to mesh with the adhesive and to regenerate over time to mimic something as close to the native cornea as possible.