Biocompatibility of polyvinylalcohol gel as a vitreous substitute

Shinji Maruoka, Toyoaki Matsuura, Kensuke Kawasaki, Masahiro Okamoto, Hara Yoshiaki, Makoto Kodama, Masaaki Sugiyama, Masahiko Annaka

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Polyvinylalcohol (PVA) hydrogel cross-linked by gamma irradiation was assessed as a possible vitreous substitute. From a series of experiments, rise of intraocular pressure and inflammatory changes in the vitreous cavity after operation were observed in some cases. Crab-eating macaques were used for this experiment. PVA gels were injected into vitreous cavity after vitrectomy and followed clinically by opthalmoscopy, tonometry, fundus photography, electroretinogram (ERG), chemotaxis, and flare cell meter. Histopathologic examination by light and electron microscopy was performed after 3 months. As a result, there were no significant changes in ophthalmoscopic findings. No abnormal rising of intraocular pressure (IOP) was recognized. ERG did not show meaningful amplitude weakness. From the photon counting of flare cell meter, significant break of blood-aqueous barrier and blood-retinal barrier was not observed. Histopathologic examination revealed that all layers of the retina were intact and no loss of tissue was evident. However, in PVA gel-injected eyes, some vacuolations of the inner retina were found in some specimens. To conclude, PVA gel was well tolerated in these experiments. The gel with a network similar to the vitreous body showed the best biocompatibility, though it is necessary to investigate the biocompatibility for the long-term. PVA gel is a good candidate for a vitreous substitute.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-606
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Eye Research
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

Maruoka, S., Matsuura, T., Kawasaki, K., Okamoto, M., Yoshiaki, H., Kodama, M., ... Annaka, M. (2006). Biocompatibility of polyvinylalcohol gel as a vitreous substitute. Current Eye Research, 31(7-8), 599-606.