Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

An in vitro assessment of the thermoreversible PLGA-PEG-PLGA copolymer: Implications for Descemet's membrane endothelial keratoplasty

Tint, Naing L.; Cheng, Kelvin K.W.; Dhillon, Amritpaul S.; Keane, Pearse A.; Alexander, Philip; Kennedy, David; Chau, David Y. S.; Rose, Felicity R.A.J.; Allan, Bruce D. S.


Naing L. Tint

Kelvin K.W. Cheng

Amritpaul S. Dhillon

Pearse A. Keane

Philip Alexander

David Kennedy

David Y. S. Chau

Profile Image

Professor of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering

Bruce D. S. Allan


Background: To explore the use of a thermoreversible copolymer gel coating to prevent donor tissue scrolling in Descemet's membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK). Methods: PLGA-PEG-PLGA triblock copolymer was synthesised via ring opening polymerisation. Two formulations were fabricated and gelation properties characterised using rheological analyses. Endothelial cytotoxicity of the copolymer was assessed using a Trypan Blue exclusion assay. Thickness of the copolymer gel coating on the endothelial surface was analysed using anterior segment optical coherence tomography (OCT) (RTVue-100, Optovue Inc.). Gold nanoparticles were added to the copolymer to aid visualisation using OCT. Prevention of Descemet membrane donor scrolling was represented via a novel, in vitro, immersion of copolymer coated donor graft material. Results: Two different formulations of PLGA-PEG-PLGA copolymer were successfully fabricated and the desired peak gelling temperature of 24°C was achieved by polymer blending. Application of 20%, 30% and 40% (wt/vol) polymer concentrations resulted in a statistically significant increase in polymer thickness on the endothelium (p < 0.001). There was no detectable endothelial cytotoxicity. The polymer was easy to apply to the endothelium and prevented scrolling of the DMEK graft. Conclusion: This PLGA-PEG-PLGA thermoreversible copolymer gel could be exploited as a therapeutic aid for preventing DMEK graft scrolling.


Tint, N. L., Cheng, K. K., Dhillon, A. S., Keane, P. A., Alexander, P., Kennedy, D., …Allan, B. D. S. (2023). An in vitro assessment of the thermoreversible PLGA-PEG-PLGA copolymer: Implications for Descemet's membrane endothelial keratoplasty. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, 51(1), 58-66.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 2, 2022
Online Publication Date Sep 29, 2022
Publication Date 2023-01
Deposit Date Oct 6, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 30, 2023
Journal Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Print ISSN 1442-6404
Electronic ISSN 1442-9071
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 51
Issue 1
Pages 58-66
Keywords Biodegradable polymers, Endothelial Keratoplasty, Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty, Thermoreversible, Endothelium
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations