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W2.04 - Injectable Micropatterned Polymeric Nanosheets for Local Delivery of an Engineered Epithelial Monolayer 
April 22, 2014   2:30pm - 2:45pm

Age-related macular degeneration is a major ophthalmic disease that causes visual impairment and blindness. Although transplantation of autologous peripheral cells has been tested by injection of cell suspensions, limited visual improvement resulted due to the low viability of the injected cells in the subretinal tissue. As an alternative approach, there have been several reports on the development of natural and synthetic substrates for local delivery of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells using collagen, poly(ethylene terephthalate) and poly(methyl methacrylate). However, these engineered substrates with micrometers in thickness (6 μm at thinnest) and several millimeters in size are not sufficiently flexible to be aspirated and injected through a conventional syringe needle into the narrow subretinal space. Thus, a large incision of the sclera and retinal tissue would be required for the injection of these rigid substrates. Such an incision might result in leakage of vitreous fluid and lead to post-surgical infection. Therefore, miniaturization of the substrates is an important approach to achieve minimally invasive delivery of the engineered tissue. In this study, we developed micropatterned polymeric nanosheets consisted of biodegradable poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) and magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs, 10 nm in diameter) toward local delivery of the RPE cells. The micropatterned nanosheet encapsulating MNPs was fabricated by microcontact printing techniques. Owing to the magnetic property and flexible structure, the micropatterned nanosheet with 170 nm thick was manipulated remotely and delivered to the subretinal space of a swine eye. The micropatterned nanosheet also directed growth and morphogenesis of the RPE cells, and allowed for the injection of an engineered RPE monolayer through syringe needles flexibly without loss of cell viability. Such an ultra-thin flexible carrier has the promise of a minimally invasive delivery of organized cellular structures into narrow tissue spaces.

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Keynote Address
Panel Discussion - Different Approaches to Commercializing Materials Research
Business Challenges to Starting a Materials-Based Company
Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience
Application of In-situ X-ray Absorption, Emission and Powder Diffraction Studies in Nanomaterials Research - From the Design of an In-situ Experiment to Data Analysis