Nanofiber-Reinforced Hydrogels for the Stabilization of Open Globe Injuries

L. Costella, L. Woodard, A. Eiseman, C. Tison
Luna Innovations, United States

Keywords: open globe, nanofiber, hydrogel, stabilization

The frequency and severity of ocular injuries sustained in military and civilian populations continues to rise due to projectile debris from IED blasts and traumatic injuries. Globe perforation injuries must be managed quickly to stabilize the eye until more permanent treatments can be applied to restore ocular function, but current treatment primarily relies on a skilled surgeon and off-indication products. Luna is developing robust nanofiber-reinforced hydrogel dressings to be used for the closure of full-thickness corneal lacerations. The dressings are strong, transparent, and form a water-tight seal to stabilize the injury. Sutureless adhesion mechanisms will further simplify the application process for the product. Luna succeeded in demonstrating feasibility of its dressing for use as an ocular biomaterial to aid in stabilizing open globe injuries. The dressing was found to have the optical, mechanical, and biological properties necessary for this application according to survey responses collected from military and civilian physicians. In vivo validation studies are ongoing in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University to demonstrate the ocular compatibility and functionality of the product, with preliminary tests indicating that the dressing is capable of stabilizing these severe open globe injuries.