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Stem Cells International
Volume 2012, Article ID 454295, 8 pages
Research Article

Subretinal Implantation of Electrospun, Short Nanowire, and Smooth Poly( -caprolactone) Scaffolds to the Subretinal Space of Porcine Eyes

1Department of Ophthalmology, Glostrup Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, 2600 Glostrup, Denmark
2Advanced Development Center, CooperVision, Inc., Pleasanton, CA 94588, USA
3NuVention Solutions Inc., Valley View, OH 44125, USA
4Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
5Eye Pathology Institute, University of Copenhagen, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
6Department of Ophthalmology, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA
7The Gavin Herbert Eye Institute and Stem Cell Research Center, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
8Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Kentucky Lions Eye Center, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40208, USA

Received 14 September 2011; Accepted 4 January 2012

Academic Editor: Chee Gee Liew

Copyright © 2012 A. T. Christiansen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Biodegradable scaffolds play an important adjunct role in transplantation of retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) to the subretinal space. Poly(ε-Caprolactone) (PCL) scaffolds with different modifications were subretinally implanted in 28 porcine eyes and evaluated by multifocal electroretinography (mfERG) and histology after 6 weeks of observation. PCL Short Nanowire, PCL Electrospun, and PCL Smooth scaffolds were well tolerated in the subretinal space in pigs and caused no inflammation and limited tissue disruption. PCL Short Nanowire had an average rate of preserved overlying outer retina 17% higher than PCL Electrospun and 25% higher than PCL Smooth. Furthermore, PCL Short Nanowire was found to have the most suitable degree of stiffness for surgical delivery to the subretinal space. The membrane-induced photoreceptor damage could be shown on mfERG, but the reductions in P1 amplitude were only significant for the PCL Smooth. We conclude that of the tested scaffolds, PCL Short Nanowire is the best candidate for subretinal implantation.