Case Study 1: An internal centre performing contract research looking at the effect of surface modification on intraocular lenses.
Problem: Intraocular lenses (IOLs) implanted after cataract surgery may become opacified due to growth of remaining lens
epithelial cells (LECs), requiring re-operation and replacement. The client wished to investigate whether introducing micro and
nano scale surface features onto the IOL would potentially affect LEC adhesion onto the substrate.
Solution: We advised on the general considerations in performing a living cell bioassay on IOLs, including how the IOLs might be
patterned. We developed a sterilization protocol so that the IOLs could be used as cell substrates under aseptic conditions.
We researched and sourced an appropriate lens epithelial cell line and grew and maintained the cells. We characterized LECs
grown on glass and on IOLs using a variety of microscopic techniques. As there is no published methodology for assessing LEC
adhesion to IOLs in vitro we developed a standardized methodology and validated this using another epithelial cell line, before
it using LECs. We advised on ways in which the strength of cell adhesion might be measured.
We researched and sourced appropriate antibodies to examine aspects of cell adhesion and optimized the protocols for these antibodies.
Techniques and technologies:Cell culture, cell counting, stereology, immunofluorescence, fluorescence microscopy,
structured light microscopy, spinning disc confocal microscopy, DIC microscopy, backscatter SEM.
LECs immunostained to demonstrate
focal adhesions (red), microfilaments (green) and nuclei (blue). Image by Robin O'Neill, 4th year student 2009-2010 Anatomy.