Crosslinker-free collagen gelation for corneal regeneration

Mohammad Mirazul Islam, Alexandru Chivu, Dina B. AbuSamra, Amrita Saha, Sumit Chowdhuri, Bapan Pramanik, Claes H. Dohlman, Debapratim Das, Pablo Argüeso, Jaya Rajaiya, Hirak K. Patra, James Chodosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Development of an artificial cornea can potentially fulfil the demand of donor corneas for transplantation as the number of donors is far less than needed to treat corneal blindness. Collagen-based artificial corneas stand out as a regenerative option, having promising clinical outcomes. Collagen crosslinked with chemical crosslinkers which modify the parent functional groups of collagen. However, crosslinkers are usually cytotoxic, so crosslinkers need to be removed from implants completely before application in humans. In addition, crosslinked products are mechanically weak and susceptible to enzymatic degradation. We developed a crosslinker free supramolecular gelation strategy using pyrene conjugated dipeptide amphiphile (PyKC) consisting of lysine and cysteine; in which collagen molecules are intertwined inside the PyKC network without any functional group modification of the collagen. The newly developed collagen implants (Coll-PyKC) are optically transparent and can effectively block UV light, are mechanically and enzymatically stable, and can be sutured. The Coll-PyKC implants support the growth and function of all corneal cells, trigger anti-inflammatory differentiation while suppressing the pro-inflammatory differentiation of human monocytes. Coll-PyKC implants can restrict human adenovirus propagation. Therefore, this crosslinker-free strategy can be used for the repair, healing, and regeneration of the cornea, and potentially other damaged organs of the body.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9108
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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