Although public health programs target preventing corneal scarring, the only treatment for apparent scarring is transplantation; anti-scarring therapies are needed. A new fluid gel eye drop is hoping to be one of those therapies. The eye drop delivers human recombinant Decorin (hrDecorin) to the ocular surface.
Researchers examined the eye drop’s efficacy in a total of 6 mice. After incubating for 12 hours, the eyes were sterilized and given single 5 µl gellan eye drops every 4 hours for 13 days. Three types of drops were used: gentamicin and prednisolone; gentamicin, prednisolone, and fluid gel; and gentamicin, prednisolone, and hrDecorin fluid gel.
Results showed that the fluid gel eye drops reduced corneal scarring after 7 to 10 days of treatment, and that those who received the hrDecorin fluid gel showed significantly less scarring. The key to its success is its ability to stay in longer contact with the eye because it can transition between a solid and liquid state while moving through the applicator and then solidify on the cornea’s surface; it is gradually cleared by blinking.
Researchers claimed the gel eye drops create a sort of “microenvironment” for healing. Future studies are needed to determine patient responses to fluid gel eye drops and Decorin fluid gel eye drops.
Hill LJ, Moakes RJA, Vareechon C, et al. Sustained release of decorin to the surface of the eye enables scarless corneal regeneration. NPJ Regen Med. 2018;3:23. doi: 10.1038/s41536-018-0061-4. eCollection 2018.