Surface Modifications of the PMMA Optic of a Keratoprosthesis to Improve Biointegration. Cornea 2017;36 Suppl 1:S15-S25.Abstract.
Biointegration of a keratoprosthesis (KPro) is critical for the mitigation of various long-term postoperative complications. Biointegration of a KPro occurs between the haptic skirt (corneal graft) and the central optic [poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)]. Various studies have highlighted common problems associated with poor bonding and biointegration between these 2 incompatible biomaterials. Resolution of these issues could be achieved by surface modification of the inert material (PMMA). A calcium phosphate (CaP) coating deposited on dopamine-activated PMMA sheets by simulated body fluid incubation (d-CaP coating) was shown to improve adhesion to collagen type I (main component of corneal stroma) compared with untreated PMMA and PMMA with other surface modifications. However, the d-CaP coating could easily undergo delamination, thereby reducing its potential for modification of KPro optical cylinders. In addition, the coating did not resemble the Ca and P composition of hydroxyapatite (HAp). A novel dip-coating method that involves the creation of cavities to trap and immobilize HAp nanoparticles on the PMMA surface was introduced to address the problems associated with the d-CaP coating. The newly obtained coating offered high hydrophilicity, resistance to delamination, and preservation of the Ca and P composition of HAp. These advantages resulted in improved adhesion strength by more than 1 order of magnitude compared with untreated PMMA. With respect to biointegration, human corneal stromal fibroblasts were able to adhere strongly and proliferate on HAp-coated PMMA. Furthermore, the new coating technique could be extended to immobilization of HAp nanoparticles on 3-mm-diameter PMMA cylinders, bringing it closer to clinical application.