Aim To evaluate a variety of copolymers as suitable scaffolds to facilitate retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) transplantation.
Methods Five blends of poly(l-lactic acid) (PLLA) with poly(d,l-lactic-glycolic acid) (PLGA) were manufactured by a solid–liquid phase separation technique. The blends were 10:90, 25:75, 50:50, 75:25 and 90:10 (PLLA:PLGA). All blend ratios were validated by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Samples of polymer blends were coated with laminin. Coated and uncoated blends were seeded with a human RPE cell line. Cell attachment, viability and retention of phenotype were assessed.
Results As the lactide unit content increased pore size generally became smaller. The 25:75 PLLA:PLGA blend was the most porous (44%) and thinnest (134 μm) scaffold produced. ARPE-19 cells retained an appropriate phenotype with minimal cell death for up to 4 weeks in vitro. Cell density was maintained on only one of the fabricated ratios (25% PLLA:75% PLGA). A consistent decrease in apoptotic cell death with time was observed on coated samples of this blend. A decrease in polymer thickness concomitant with an increase in porosity characteristic of degradation was observed with all polymer blends.
Conclusions This study demonstrates that a 25:75 copolymer blend of PLLA:PLGA is a potentially useful scaffold for ocular cell transplantation.
- Poly(α-hydroxy esters)
- retinal pigment epithelium
- retina, treatment other
- experimental and laboratory
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Funding Financial support was provided by Foresight RP, the Gift of Sight Appeal, Lord Sandberg, and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.