Semipermeable parylene membrane as an artificial Bruch's membrane
This paper investigates the feasibility of a mesh-supported submicron-thick semipermeable parylene-C membrane as an artificial Bruch's membrane for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). First, the permeabilities of parylene-C membranes with different thickness were measured and the results showed that as-deposited 0.30μm-thick parylene-C, which has a similar permeability to biological Bruch's membrane, is a good candidate to replace the diseased Bruch's membrane. This was further validated by perfusion cell culture experiments, in which nutrients were supplied to the cultured cells only by permeation through the submicron membrane. It was also found that retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells could grow and well-polarize with normal morphology on the membrane Finally, the implantation of the submicron-thick membrane (with in vitro cultured RPE cells) into rat's retina was successfully done with the help of a parylene-C/SU-8 microsurgical tool, and the following histological study of the retina showed that the reported thin parylene-C membrane could be a promissing RPE substrate candidate for further study.