Biomaterial interactions with compromised tissue surfaces

  • Manpreet Cooner

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis is concerned with the nature of biomaterial interactions with compromised host tissue sites. Both ocular and dermal tissues can be wounded, following injury, disease or surgery, and consequently require the use of a biomaterial. Clear analogies exist between the cornea/tear film/contact lens and the dermal wound bed/wound fluid/skin adhesive wound dressing. The work described in this thesis builds upon established biochemistry to examine specific aspects of the interaction of biomaterials with compromised ocular and dermal tissue sites, with a particular focus on the role of vitronectin.
Vitronectin is a prominent cell adhesion glycoprotein present in both tear fluid and wound fluid, and has a role in the regulation and upregulation of plasmin. The interaction of contact lenses with the cornea was assessed by a novel on-lens cell-based vitronectin assay technique. Vitronectin mapping showed that vitronectin-mediated cell adhesion to contact lens surfaces was due to the contact lens-corneal mechanical interaction rather than deposition out of the tear film. This deposition is associated predominantly with the peripheral region of the posterior contact lens surface. The locus of vitronectin deposition on the contact lens surface, which is affected by material modulus, is potentially an important factor in the generation of plasmin in the posterior tear film.
Use of the vitronectin mapping technique on ex vivo bandage contact lenses revealed greater vitronectin-mediated cell adhesion to the contact lens surfaces in comparison to lenses worn in the healthy eye. The results suggest that vitronectin is more readily deposited from the impaired corneal tissue bed than the intact healthy tissue bed. Significantly, subjects with a deficient tear film were found to deposit high vitronectin-mediated cell adhesion levels to the BCL surface, thus highlighting the influence of the contact lens-tissue interaction upon deposition.
Biomimetic principles imply that adhesive materials for wound applications, including hydrogels and hydrocolloids, should closely match the surface energy parameters of skin. The surface properties of hydrocolloid adhesives were found to be easily modified by contact with siliconised plastic release liners. In contrast, paper release liners did not significantly affect the adhesive surface properties. In order to characterise such materials in the actual wound environment, which is an extremely challenging task, preliminary considerations for the design of an artificial wound fluid model from an animal serum base were addressed.
Date of Award18 May 2015
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorBrian Tighe (Supervisor) & Aisling M Mann (Supervisor)


  • bandage contact lens
  • hydrocolloid
  • hydrogel
  • skin adhesive wound dressings
  • vitronectin
  • wound healing

Cite this