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Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 27;7:41286. doi: 10.1038/srep41286.

Cornea organoids from human induced pluripotent stem cells.

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Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Department of Ophthalmology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
Department of Molecular Pharmacology &Physiology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA.
Department of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Department of Cell Biology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.


The cornea is the transparent outermost surface of the eye, consisting of a stratified epithelium, a collagenous stroma and an innermost single-cell layered endothelium and providing 2/3 of the refractive power of the eye. Multiple diseases of the cornea arise from genetic defects where the ultimate phenotype can be influenced by cross talk between the cell types and the extracellular matrix. Cell culture modeling of diseases can benefit from cornea organoids that include multiple corneal cell types and extracellular matrices. Here we present human iPS cell-derived organoids through sequential rounds of differentiation programs. These organoids share features of the developing cornea, harboring three distinct cell types with expression of key epithelial, stromal and endothelial cell markers. Cornea organoid cultures provide a powerful 3D model system for investigating corneal developmental processes and their disruptions in diseased conditions.

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