by Shyam S. Chaurasia, Ravi Champakalakshmi, Ang Li, Rebekah Poh, Xiao Wei Tan, Rajamani Lakshminarayanan, Chwee T. Lim, Donald T. Tan, Jodhbir S. Mehta
Corneal transplantation has rapidly evolved from full-thickness penetrating keratoplasty (PK) to selective tissue corneal transplantation, where only the diseased portions of the patient's corneal tissue are replaced with healthy donor tissue. Descemet's membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) performed in patients with corneal endothelial dysfunction is one such example where only a single layer of endothelial cells with its basement membrane (10–15 µm in thickness), Descemet's membrane (DM) is replaced. It is challenging to replace this membrane due to its intrinsic property to roll in an aqueous environment. The main objective of this study was to determine the effects of fibrin glue (FG) on the biomechanical properties of DM using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and relates these properties to membrane folding propensity. Methodology/Principal Findings
Fibrin glue was sprayed using the EasySpray applicator system, and the biomechanical properties of human DM were determined by AFM. We studied the changes in the “rolling up” tendency of DM by examining the changes in the elasticity and flexural rigidity after the application of FG. Surface topography was assessed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and AFM imaging. Treatment with FG not only stabilized and stiffened DM but also led to a significant increase in hysteresis of the glue-treated membrane. In addition, flexural or bending rigidity values also increased in FG-treated membranes. Conclusions/Significance
Our results suggest that fibrin glue provides rigidity to the DM/endothelial cell complex that may aid in subsequent manipulation by maintaining tissue integrity.