Associate Professor Takamasa Sakai (Department of Bioengineering), Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo and Fumiki Okamoto (Ophthalmology), Professor of Medical Sciences, University of Tsukuba, conducted joint research as part of JST task achievement type basic research (PRESTO). So, we succeeded in developing an artificial glass body that can be implanted for a long time.This is the first time in the world that an artificial vitreous body that can be implanted for a long time has been developed.
Hydrogels are attracting attention as medical materials because they have a composition similar to that of living soft tissues.In particular, an injectable gel that can be implanted in a living body by injection and gels in the living body is expected to be applied to various medical applications.However, there are problems that the reaction that induces gelation in the living body stimulates the surrounding tissues, and that the surrounding water is sucked in and swells in the living body to press the surrounding tissues.In the field of ophthalmology, there is a demand for artificial vitreous bodies that can be implanted for a long period of time, and applied research on various hydrogels has been conducted, but there have been no successful cases for the above reasons.Also, attempts to control gel swelling have been rarely made so far.
This research group is the world's first long-term treatment of retinal detachment with hydrogel by creating a polymer gel material with extremely high water content that can be directly injected into the living body by a new molecular design and using it as an animal model. I made it happen.This shows that the polymer gel material produced by the research group is useful as an artificial vitreous body.
The results of this research are expected to be useful for the treatment of ophthalmic diseases including retinal diseases in the future.Furthermore, in the future, it is expected to be applied to anti-adhesion agents, hemostatic agents, scaffold materials for regenerative medicine, and the like.