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Cells Tissues Organs. 2013;197(4):283-97. doi: 10.1159/000346172. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

Characterization of vitamin C-induced cell sheets formed from primary and immortalized human corneal stromal cells for tissue engineering applications.

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Institut für Pharmazeutische Technologie, Technische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina zu Braunschweig, DE- 38106 Braunschweig, Germany.


The purpose of this study was to compare the ability of primary human corneal stromal cells (HuFib cells) and SV40-immortalized human corneal keratocytes (HCK cells) to synthesize their own extracellular matrix induced by vitamin C supplementation. Therefore, the amount of collagen secreted and resulting biomechanical properties based on the culture duration were assessed. Cells were cultivated for several weeks with or without vitamin C. The amount of collagen secreted by the cells was quantified based on the culture duration. Cell viability was simultaneously determined via the MTT assay. Collagen secretion was increased as a result of vitamin C supplementation. The effect was stronger in primary cells. In addition, vitamin C supplementation had a positive effect on HuFib cell viability. Vitamin C supplementation induced the formation of detachable cell sheets in both primary and immortalized cells. The biomechanical properties of the sheets were evaluated using a static material testing machine, and the ultrastructure of the cell sheets was examined using scanning electron microscopy. The cell sheets formed from HuFib cells had a higher percentage of light transmission between 400 and 800 nm and were superior in terms of E-modulus and ultimate strength testing. Indirect immunofluorescence and Western blot confirmed the presence of collagen type I in the HuFib and HCK cell cultures. Stimulating secretion of the extracellular matrix in corneal stromal cells is a promising approach for corneal stroma reconstruction for tissue engineering applications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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