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Nat Med. 2019 Aug;25(8):1310-1318. doi: 10.1038/s41591-019-0531-2. Epub 2019 Aug 5.

Multiscale reverse engineering of the human ocular surface.

Author information

1
Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
2
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
3
Department of Ophthalmology, Scheie Eye Institute, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
4
Penn Dry Eye and Ocular Surface Center, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
5
NSF Science and Technology Center for Engineering Mechanobiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
6
Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. huhd@seas.upenn.edu.
7
NSF Science and Technology Center for Engineering Mechanobiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. huhd@seas.upenn.edu.
8
Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. huhd@seas.upenn.edu.

Abstract

Here we present a miniaturized analog of a blinking human eye to reverse engineer the complexity of the interface between the ocular system and the external environment. Our model comprises human cells and provides unique capabilities to replicate multiscale structural organization, biological phenotypes and dynamically regulated environmental homeostasis of the human ocular surface. Using this biomimetic system, we discovered new biological effects of blink-induced mechanical forces. Furthermore, we developed a specialized in vitro model of evaporative dry-eye disease for high-content drug screening. This work advances our ability to emulate how human physiological systems interface with the external world, and may contribute to the future development of novel screening platforms for biopharmaceutical and environmental applications.

PMID:
31384041
DOI:
10.1038/s41591-019-0531-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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