Characterization of Oxygen Nanobubbles and In Vitro Evaluation of Retinal Cells in Hypoxia

Transl Vis Sci Technol. 2023 Feb 1;12(2):16. doi: 10.1167/tvst.12.2.16.


PURPOSE: Vein or artery occlusion causes a hypoxic environment by preventing oxygen delivery and diffusion to tissues. Diseases such as retinal vein occlusion, central retinal artery occlusion, or diabetic retinopathy create a stroke-type condition that leads to functional blindness in the effected eye. We aim to develop an oxygen delivery system consisting of oxygen nanobubbles (ONBs) that can mitigate retinal ischemia during a severe hypoxic event such as central retinal artery occlusion.

METHODS: ONBs were synthesized to encapsulate oxygen saturated molecular medical grade water. Stability, oxygen release, biocompatibility, reactive oxygen species, superoxide, MTT, and terminal uridine nick-end labeling assays were performed. Cell viability was evaluated, and safety experiments were conducted in rabbits.

RESULTS: The ONBs were approximately 220 nm in diameter, with a zeta potential of -58.8 mV. Oxygen release studies indicated that 74.06 µg of O2 is released from the ONBs after 12 hours at 37°C. Cell studies indicated that ONBs are safe and cells are viable. There was no significant increase in reactive oxygen species, superoxide, or double-stranded DNA damage after ONB treatment. ONBs preserve mitochondrial function and viability. Histological sections from rabbit eyes indicated that ONBs were not toxic.

CONCLUSIONS: The ONBs proposed have excellent oxygen holding and release properties to mitigate ischemic conditions in the retina. They are sterile, stable, and nontoxic.

TRANSLATION RELEVANCE: ONB technology was evaluated for its physical properties, oxygen release, sterility, stability, and safety. Our results indicate that ONBs could be a viable treatment approach to mitigate hypoxia during ischemic conditions in the eye upon timely administration.

PMID:36763051 | PMC:PMC9927786 | DOI:10.1167/tvst.12.2.16

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