Intraocular Injection of HyStem Hydrogel Is Tolerated Well in the Rabbit Eye

Randolph D. Glickman, Michael Onorato, Maria M. Campos, Michael P. O'Boyle, Ratnesh K. Singh, Thomas I. Zarembinski, Francois Binette, Igor O. Nasonkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the long-term biocompatibility of HyStem® hydrogel in the rabbit eye for use as a carrier for cell or drug delivery into the ocular space. Methods: HyStem hydrogel formulation solidifies ∼20 min after reconstitution, thus can potentially form a solid deposit after injection in situ. To study the ocular disposition of fluorescein-labeled HyStem, we delivered 50 μL/eye over 1 min into the vitreous space of the rabbit. We used 3 Dutch-Belted and 3 New Zealand-pigmented rabbits, all females, delivered the gel into the right eyes, and injected 50 μL BSS Plus into the left eyes as a control. Retinal morphology was assessed by optical coherence tomography (OCT) and white light fundus photography. Fluorescence fundus photography enabled measurement of the clearance of the labeled hydrogel from the posterior chamber. Visual function was evaluated using flash and flicker electroretinography (ERG) pre-and postinjection and at weekly intervals thereafter for 6 weeks. Retinal immunohistochemistry for microglial inflammatory markers was carried out with antiglial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) antibody, isolectin B4 (IB4), and 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI). Results: The gel was successfully delivered into the vitreous space without the formation of a discrete retinal deposit. Fundus imaging, OCT measurements of retinal thickness, and immunohistochemical data indicated an absence of retinal inflammation, and ERG indicated no impact on retinal function. The half-time of HyStem clearance calculated from the loss of fundus fluorescence was 3.9 days. Conclusions: HyStem hydrogel appears to be biocompatible in the ocular space of a large eye and safe for long-term intraocular application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-71
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • HyStem
  • OCT
  • electroretinography
  • hydrogel
  • intraocular injection
  • toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Intraocular Injection of HyStem Hydrogel Is Tolerated Well in the Rabbit Eye'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this