Development of Microcarriers Containing Silver Nanoparticles for Corneal Stromal Tissue Repair

Project: National Science and Technology CouncilNational Science and Technology Council Academic Grants

Project Details


Full-thickness corneal transplantation (penetrating keratoplasty, PK) is currently the most common way to treat corneas that are opacified owing to cell dysfunction. Because the supply of donor corneas is insufficient, corneal cell transplantation using expanded cultures is a potential alternative to PK. For the treatment of bacterial keratitis, topical application of antibiotic can inhibit bacterial growth. However, during corneal wound healing, the disorganized collagen fibers inevitably cause scar formation. To circumvent this drawback, we establish a novel strategy for corneal stromal reconstruction using gelatin/hyaluronic acid microcarriers incorporating silver nanoparticles. It is hypothesized that the design of a biomaterial microcarrier for dual delivery of drugs and cells may effectively reconstruct corneal stroma. The microcarriers have several advantages such as non-toxicity of silver nanoparticles, minimal invasiveness of surgery, cell harvest without trypsinization, maintenance of cell phenotype, and antibacterial and antiangiogenic effects. To our knowledge, this concept has not been previously described. This three-year project aims to develop gelatin/hyaluronic acid microcarriers containing silver nanoparticles for corneal stromal tissue reconstruction. In the first year, a study will be performed on the preparation, characterization, and biocompatibility assessment of biomaterial microcarriers. The next year will focus on the investigation of microcarrier degradation, release of silver nanoparticles, and antiangiogensis effects. In the final year of the study, the tissue reconstruction in an animal model of rabbit corneal stromal deficiency will be examined after injection of cell-laden microcarriers. It is expected that the proposed delivery system in this project will be beneficial in helping people who are experiencing vision loss.

Project IDs

Project ID:PB10301-0193
External Project ID:NSC102-2628-B182-017-MY3
Effective start/end date01/08/1431/07/15


  • gelatin
  • hyaluronic acid
  • silver nanoparticle
  • microcarrier
  • corneal stromal tissue


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