Sulfadiazine modified PDMS as a model material with the potential for the mitigation of posterior capsule opacification (PCO)
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Cataract surgery, while the most common surgical procedure performed, leads to posterior capsule opacification in approximately 30% of cases. Transforming growth factor beta 2 (TGF-β2) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been shown to play important roles in the cellular processes leading to posterior capsule opacification. Delivery of inhibitors to MMPs may have the potential to inhibit the initial cascade of events that lead to PCO. However, delivery of these molecules via tethering has proven difficult. In this work, sulfadiazine was tethered to polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) via a polyethylene glycol (PEG) spacer as a potential MMPI mimic. Surface characterization using a variety of methods demonstrated successful modification with the antibiotic. The surfaces were examined with lens epithelial cells to determine their effect on these cellular processes, including cell transdifferentiation and production of extracellular matrix components. The presence of TGF-β2 in the cell culture media was found to stimulate the production of ECM components such as collagen, fibronectin, and laminin, as well as alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), and the migration marker Rho by HLE-B3 and FHL124 cells. In all cases, these effects were decreased but not completely eradicated by the presence of sulfadiazine on the PDMS surfaces. While the level of inhibition necessary for inhibition of PCO in vivo is unknown, these results suggest that IOL surface modification with sulfadiazine has the potential to reduce cellular changes associated with PCO. Furthermore, the results demonstrate for the first time that changes consistent with inhibition of fibrosis may be elicited by surfaces modified with sulfadiazine.
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