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The healing power of silk

NSF Award:

SBIR Phase II: Regenerating Ocular Surface Wounds with Novel Biomaterial  (Seryx Biomedical, Inc.)

SBIR Phase I: Regenerating Ocular Surface Wounds with Novel Biomaterial  (Sarentis Ophthalmic, Inc.)

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Every year nearly 6 million Americans suffer from traumatic eye injury. However, current treatment options are primarily limited to physical coverings such as eye patches and therapeutic eye drops, which quickly wash from the eye surface.

To improve these options, NSF-funded researchers created a silk-based, transparent eye bandage. In laboratory tests, the silk bandage provided a 30 percent increase in cornea healing rate on an animal model when compared to untreated controls. Novel processing mechanisms controlled the material dissolution rate on the surface of the eye, depending on the desired application. During testing, two new approaches were discovered to sterilize silk biomaterial.

The researchers created a series of green, water-based processes to produce the shaped silk bandage, which is compatible with living tissue, adheres to the eye's surface and remains there for several hours to protect the site and enhance healing. The material also possesses properties that maximize the eye's healing response post injury. Thus far, these processes have proved to be reproducible, cost effective, environmentally sustainable and scalable for worldwide distribution.

Image

  • the silk eye bandage resembles a traditional contact lens
The silk eye bandage self-adheres to the eye's surface and then dissolves over a specified time period.
Sarentis Ophthalmics, Inc.

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