Prophylactic effect of topical silica nanoparticles as a novel antineovascularization agent for inhibiting corneal neovascularization following chemical burn


1 Eye Research Center, Farabi Eye Hospital; Department of Nano-Ophthalmology, Stem Cells Preparation Unit, Eye Research Center, Farabi Eye Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Eye Research Center, Farabi Eye Hospital, , Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Eye Research Center, Farabi Eye Hospital; Noor Ophthalmology Research Center, Noor Eye Hospital, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Nano-Ophthalmology, Stem Cells Preparation Unit, Eye Research Center, Farabi Eye Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: Angiogenesis-related corneal blindness includes the spectrum of corneal diseases that are caused by pathological angiogenesis, leading to untoward visual impairment. The purpose of this study was to investigate the antineovascularization effect of topical silica nanoparticles (SiNPs) in inhibiting chemical-burn-induced corneal neovascularization.
Materials and Methods: A total number of 20 corneas of 10 Wistar Albino rats were included in this study. Silver nitrate cauterization was pressed to the central cornea for 5 s to induce corneal neovascularization. They were randomly allocated to case and control groups (ten eyes in each group). SiNPs were synthesized by the reverse microemulsion method. SiNPs drop 1 mg/ml was started in ten eyes and artificial tear drop was started in the control group (ten eyes) immediately after chemical cauterization. Video-based photography was performed before and after treatment. Corneal image analysis was performed on each cornea using an image analysis software program. All rats were euthanized and the eyes were sent for histopathologic examinations14 days after chemical cauterization.
Results: Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images showed spherical-shaped particles. The mean size and polydispersity index of prepared SiNPs were 30.1 ± 5.6 nm and 0.254 ± 0.11, respectively. Fourteen days after chemical cauterization, the mean vascularized corneal area was 21% of total corneal area in the case group and 85% in the control group (P < 0.05). The control group revealed more extensive intrastromal vascularization compared with the case group in histopathologic examinations (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: SiNPs is an effective modality for inhibiting corneal neovascularization following chemical burn in an experimental model. Further investigations are suggested for evaluation of its safety and efficacy in human eyes.


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