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Science. 1999 Dec 10;286(5447):2169-72.

Functional human corneal equivalents constructed from cell lines.

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University of Ottawa Eye Institute and Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa Hospital-General Campus, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8L6, Canada.


Human corneal equivalents comprising the three main layers of the cornea (epithelium, stroma, and endothelium) were constructed. Each cellular layer was fabricated from immortalized human corneal cells that were screened for use on the basis of morphological, biochemical, and electrophysiological similarity to their natural counterparts. The resulting corneal equivalents mimicked human corneas in key physical and physiological functions, including morphology, biochemical marker expression, transparency, ion and fluid transport, and gene expression. Morphological and functional equivalents to human corneas that can be produced in vitro have immediate applications in toxicity and drug efficacy testing, and form the basis for future development of implantable tissues.

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