Osteo-odonto-keratoprostheses (OOKP) is a unique form of keratoprosthesis involving surgical removal of a tooth root and surrounding bone from the patient which are then used to construct an osteo-odonto lamina into which an optical cylinder is cemented. The OOKP procedure is successful and capable of withstanding the very hostile ocular environments found in severe Stevens–Johnson syndrome, pemphigoid, chemical burns, trachoma and multiple corneal graft failure. The existing procedure is complex and time consuming in terms of operative time, and additionally involves sacrifice of the oral structures. This paper discusses the rational search for a “synthetic” analogue of the dental lamina, capable of mimicking those features of the natural system that are responsible for the success of OOKP. In this study the degradation of selected commercial and natural bioceramics was tested in vitro using a purpose-designed resorption assay. Degradation rate was compared with tooth and bone, which are currently used in OOKP lamina. At normal physiological pH the degradation of bioceramics was equivalent to tooth and bone; however, at pH 6.5–5.0, associated with infectious and inflamed tissues, the bioceramics degrade more rapidly. At lower pH the degradation rate decreased in the following order: calcium carbonate corals > biphasic calcium phosphates > hydroxyapatite. Porosity did not significantly influence these degradation rates. Such degradation is likely to compromise the stability and viability of the synthetic OOKP. Consequently more chemically stable materials are required that are optimized for the surrounding ocular environment.
- in vitro resorption