Evaluation of cross-linked gelatin membranes as delivery carriers for retinal sheets

Jui Yang Lai*, Ya Ting Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

63 Scopus citations


The delivery of intact sheet transplants to the subretinal space can prevent cell loss that is generally associated with the injection of cell suspensions or cell aggregates. The aim of this study was to develop chemically modified gelatin matrices that enhance the delivery efficiency and analyze whether the gelatin membranes cross-linked with 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethyl aminopropyl) carbodiimide (EDC) can be considered as potential carriers for retinal sheets. The characteristics of EDC cross-linked gelatin membranes were determined by mechanical and in vitro degradation tests, melting point measurements, cell proliferation assays, cytokine expression analyses, and tissue delivery studies. Gelatin membranes without cross-linking and glutaraldehyde cross-linked gelatin samples were used for comparison. Results of this study indicated that introduction of cross-links is capable of rendering the gelatin network more stable against mechanical stresses and deformations as well as rapid hydrolysis during intraocular delivery of delicate tissue sheets. In comparison with the glutaraldehyde treated samples, the EDC cross-linked gelatin membranes showed a better degradation profile and a relatively higher cytocompatibility. In addition, after EDC cross-linking, the gelatin matrices having an acceptable melting point could be used for the fabrication of a sandwich-like carrier with a high transfer and encapsulation efficiency. These findings suggest that the cross-linking agent type gives an influence on delivery functionality of gelatin membranes. In summary, the EDC cross-linked gelatin is an ideal candidate for use as a carrier material in retinal sheet delivery applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-685
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Issue number5
StatePublished - 15 06 2010


  • Cross-linking
  • Delivery
  • Gelatin
  • Retinal sheets
  • Sandwich-like carrier membranes


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