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Ralph J. S. van Mechelen, Jarno E. J. Wolters, Marjolein Herfs, Christian J. F. Bertens, Marion Gijbels, Leonard Pinchuk, Theo G. M. F. Gorgels, Henny J. M. Beckers; Wound Healing Response After Bleb-Forming Glaucoma Surgery With a SIBS Microshunt in Rabbits. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2022;11(8):29. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.11.8.29.
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The PreserFlo MicroShunt is an innovative implant for the surgical treatment of glaucoma. Although usually effective, surgeries can still fail due to fibrosis. This study was conducted to gain insight into the histological aspects of the fibrotic response and find potential targets to reduce postoperative fibrosis.
Fifteen New Zealand White rabbits were implanted with a microshunt and followed up for 40 days. Animals were euthanized at postoperative days (PODs) 1, 5, and 40 to collect eyes for histological evaluation. Bleb formation and ocular health were assessed by slit-lamp (SL) biomicroscopy and optical coherence tomography (OCT). Intraocular pressure (IOP) was measured using rebound tonometry.
Blebs failed after approximately 2 weeks based on bleb survival and IOP measurements. No severe complications were observed with OCT and SL. Histology revealed a wide variety of cells, in the bleb and around the microshunt, including polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMNs), myofibroblasts, and foreign body giant cells, at different PODs.
Implantation of a poly(styrene-b-isobutylene-b-styrene) microshunt in rabbits resulted in the occurrence of a wide variety of cells during the wound-healing response. Future research should further elucidate the potential of these (earlier often overlooked) cells to target the fibrotic response in vivo—for example, by developing novel antifibrotic drugs, methods for sustained delivery of medications, or augmenting material properties.
Current antifibrotic therapies aim to inhibit myofibroblasts; however, a wide variety of cells are involved in the fibrotic response. Future research focusing on these cells could offer novel methods for reducing the fibrotic response after glaucoma surgery.
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