The formation of a functional retinal pigment epithelium occurs on porous polytetrafluoroethylene substrates independently of the surface chemistry

Victoria R. Kearns, Jack Tasker, Zhuola, Riaz Akhtar, Akash Bachhuka, Krasimir Vasilev, Carl M. Sheridan, Rachel L. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Abstract: Subretinal transplantation of functioning retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells may have the potential to preserve or restore vision in patients affected by blinding diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). One of the critical steps in achieving this is the ability to grow a functioning retinal pigment epithelium, which may need a substrate on which to grow and to aid transplantation. Tailoring the physical and chemical properties of the substrate should help the engineered tissue to function in the long term. The purpose of the study was to determine whether a functioning monolayer of RPE cells could be produced on expanded polytetrafluoroethylene substrates modified by either an ammonia plasma treatment or an n-Heptylamine coating, and whether the difference in surface chemistries altered the extracellular matrix the cells produced. Primary human RPE cells were able to form a functional, cobblestone monolayer on both substrates, but the formation of an extracellular matrix to exhibit a network structure took months, whereas on non-porous substrates with the same surface chemistry, a similar appearance was observed after a few weeks. This study suggests that the surface chemistry of these materials may not be the most critical factor in the development of growth of a functional monolayer of RPE cells as long as the cells can attach and proliferate on the surface. This has important implications in the design of strategies to optimise the clinical outcomes of subretinal transplant procedures. Graphical Abstract: [InlineMediaObject not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number124
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Volume28
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells
  • subretinal transplant
  • polytetrafluoroethylene

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