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J Funct Biomater. 2015 Sep 11;6(3):917-45. doi: 10.3390/jfb6030917.

Substrates for Expansion of Corneal Endothelial Cells towards Bioengineering of Human Corneal Endothelium.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology, Oslo University Hospital, Postbox 4950 Nydalen, Oslo 0424, Norway. jesintha.navaratnam@medisin.uio.no.
2
Department of Medical Biochemistry, Oslo University Hospital, Postbox 4950 Nydalen, Oslo 0424, Norway. utheim2@gmail.com.
3
Department of Oral Biology, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Oslo, Postbox 1052, Blindern, Oslo 0316, Norway. utheim2@gmail.com.
4
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller Research Building, Room 1163, 430 East 67th Street/1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA. Vinagolr@mskcc.org.
5
Department of Ophthalmology, Oslo University Hospital, Postbox 4950 Nydalen, Oslo 0424, Norway. aboulghassem.shahdadfar@medisin.uio.no.

Abstract

Corneal endothelium is a single layer of specialized cells that lines the posterior surface of cornea and maintains corneal hydration and corneal transparency essential for vision. Currently, transplantation is the only therapeutic option for diseases affecting the corneal endothelium. Transplantation of corneal endothelium, called endothelial keratoplasty, is widely used for corneal endothelial diseases. However, corneal transplantation is limited by global donor shortage. Therefore, there is a need to overcome the deficiency of sufficient donor corneal tissue. New approaches are being explored to engineer corneal tissues such that sufficient amount of corneal endothelium becomes available to offset the present shortage of functional cornea. Although human corneal endothelial cells have limited proliferative capacity in vivo, several laboratories have been successful in in vitro expansion of human corneal endothelial cells. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of different substrates employed for in vitro cultivation of human corneal endothelial cells. Advances and emerging challenges with ex vivo cultured corneal endothelial layer for the ultimate goal of therapeutic replacement of dysfunctional corneal endothelium in humans with functional corneal endothelium are also presented.

KEYWORDS:

cell sources; corneal endothelium; human corneal endothelial cells; substrates; tissue engineering

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