Our core technology consists of a biocompatible, nondegradable biomimetic material that imitates the micro-structure of the human Extracellular Matrix (ECM); the collagen mesh providing the structural and biochemical support to surrounding cells. Unlike scaffolds and other collagen matrices, which are used for tissue repair and engineering and provide a temporary infrastructure for cellular growth, our material's strength and its nondegradable nature offers new applications that will revolutionize the quality of life for millions.
Our material technology can be viewed as a natural habitat for human fibroblasts, which are the cells that synthesize the ECM. Fibroblasts play a critical role in wound healing and constitute the most common connective tissue cells. The mechanical properties of our material are optimized to stimulate fibroblast migration and colonization.
In-vivo studies demonstrate abundant presence of fibroblasts and collagen fibrils within our material several weeks following its implantation with no adverse immune system response, indicating progressive tissue integration.
While originally developed for permanently anchoring synthetic implants with surrounding tissue, we have gradually extended the use of our biomimetic platform technology to support additional uses. Our technology is poised to impact implant design and enable new solutions in diversified fields of medicine.
Our platform technology has dozens of applications across diversified therapeutic fields. The platform material can be produced in various 2D and 3D forms, enabling the following functions, all validated in-vivo:
Physical Attachment of Implants to Tissue
Our advanced biomimetic material technology enables us to permanently attach and integrate synthetic material with live human tissue without rejection. When implanted, this material stimulates cellular proliferation, leading to progressive tissue integration. In-vivo studies demonstrate full fibroblast colonization and abundant collagen deposition as well as presence of capillaries within the material 6-months post implantation. Given its non-degradability, this material enables the permanent anchoring of implants to surrounding tissue. Our material successfully integrates the CorNeat KPro, our synthetic cornea within resident ocular tissue.
Concealment of Implants
Implants commonly trigger a chronic foreign body response, which could impact or erode adjacent tissue, degrading its functionality. Our biomimetic material is used to conceal implants and “hide” them from the immune system. Our method improves retention and reduces complications. Our synthetic tissue substitute has been used to permanently conceal glaucoma drainage devices, replacing degradable tissue grafts.
Soft Tissue Repair and Permanent Reinforcement
The repair of soft tissue trauma relies on numerous solutions in the market today. We present a unique approach to this challenge by introducing a nondegradable ECM-like material that provides unprecedented mechanical strength to newly formed tissue. Unlike biological scaffolds used for tissue repair, as well as allografts, autografts and xenografts, our underlying, flexible and durable reinforcement patch will function permanently. For example, our synthetic gingival reinforcement patch (CorNeat gPatch) will replace degradable collagen patches and grafts and provide a reliable infrastructure for gingival tissue expected to yield a higher rate of complete (tooth) root coverage (CRC) over time. It will improve aesthetics and relieve hypersensitivity.
Fabrication of Membranes and Tissue Barriers
Membranes are used in a variety of medical procedures at the interface between two tissue types (i.e., bone and soft tissue) or between tissue and liquid (i.e., aqueous humor, urine, cerebrospinal fluid). Our material acts as a barrier, displacing the use of biological materials for this purpose. For example, the inlet of our glaucoma shunt (CorNeat eShunt) serves as a membrane which regulates intraocular pressure. The micro-structure of this inlet mimics the trabecular meshwork, an area of tissue in the anterior segment of the eye responsible for drainage of aqueous humor and pressure regulation.
Our advanced cell technology enables us to permanently attach and integrate synthetic material with live human tissue without rejection. These findings offer new and innovative medical solutions in ophthalmology and beyond.
Below you can see two histopathological images of the synthetic ECM following a few months inside the rabbit ocular tissue, specifically sub-conjunctively. The synthetic ECM is the central layer that is lighter in hue, stained with H&E (Hematoxylin and Eosin stain). Cell nuclei are evident throughout as darker, purple dots, no inflammatory (rejection) response or capsule formation is evident surrounding the device and in some areas capillaries are seen penetrating this matrix.
Figure 1: red arrowheads - cell nuclei; light pink - artificial ECM; dark pink - local tissue
Figure 2: red arrowhead indicates a possible capillary; blue arrowhead points to spindle shape cells typical of fibroblasts; purple fibers, indicative of collagen, are evident and dispersed throughout the image
Figure 2 is stained with Masson trichrome. Masson trichrome accentuates collagen, a central part of our native ECM, that appears here in purple. As evident from this image the matrix, composed of synthetic polymeric chains, is full of collagen fibers that were laid there by residing fibroblasts from local tissue. This finding fortifies our initial assumptions that local tissue will invade the matrix while remaining viable and active. The deposition of collagen actually “hides” the synthetic fibers from our own immune system and metabolism thus embedding them permanently within our body. Another finding that stands out in the Masson trichrome stained image (figure 2) is the evidence of capillaries within the matrix, yet another strong indicator of permanent integration.
CorNeat Vision has been making extensive investment over the past few years to protect its innovations. The company plans to continue and invest in expanding its intellectual property. Several of the company’s patents were already granted in major markets and others are still pending.