Biobased adhesive gel could repair eyes without surgery

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In Massachusetts, a new technology, called GelCORE (gel for corneal regeneration), could one day reduce the need for surgery to repair injuries to the cornea. An adhesive gel packed with light-activated chemicals can seal cuts or ulcers on the cornea —the clear surface of the eye — and then encourage the regeneration of corneal tissue.

“Our hope is that this biomaterial could fill in a major gap in technology available to treat corneal injuries,” said co-corresponding author Reza Dana, MD, Director of the Cornea and Refractive Surgery Service at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and the Claes H. Dohlman Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. “We set out to create a material that is clear, strongly adhesive, and permits the cornea to not only close the defect, but also to regenerate. We wanted this material to allow the cells of the cornea to mesh with the adhesive and to regenerate over time to mimic something as close to the native cornea as possible.”