Integrating synthetic materials with live human tissue
The CorNeat Vision lineup of biomimetic ophthalmic implants blend a novel bio-integration technology with innovative ideas to create ground-breaking solutions, which address unmet ophthalmic needs.
This technology is based on an electrospun non-woven non degradable polymer nanofabric that imitates the micro-structure of the human extracellular matrix (ECM) – the collagen mesh which provides the structural and biochemical support to surrounding cells. This ECM-like micro-structure, which is implemented as part of CorNeat Vision’s implants, stimulates cell colonization and eventually full and lifelong mechanical integration with the surrounding tissue.
Below you can see two histopathological slides 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 fibres, indicative of collagen, are evident and dispersed throughout the slide
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 slide the matrix, composed of synthetic polymeric chains is full with 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 slide (Figure 2) is the evidence of capillaries within the matrix, yet another strong indicator of permanent integration.
On the intellectual property (IP) front, CorNeat Vision has made extensive progress over the past few years. In order to protect our innovations, we registered intellectual property for both ophthalmic and non-ophthalmic devices, leveraging CorNeat bio-integration platform technology.
As of this date, we have filed five patent applications in various jurisdictions.
Our flagship device, the CorNeat KPro (‘Keratoprosthesis and uses thereof’), was granted a patent in eleven jurisdictions which include Europe, USA, China, Canada, Russia, Japan and Israel and is still pending in a few other jurisdictions.
In addition, our animal trial and other R&D activities resulted in new intellectual property. Accordingly, except for the above patent, we have four additional patent applications that have been filed.
The company continues to invest in the intellectual property front, protecting its innovative ideas and increasing its assets.