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Materials 2012, 5(1), 108-120; doi:10.3390/ma5010108
Review

Advances in Retinal Tissue Engineering

1,2
,
1,3
 and
1,*
1 Department of Ophthalmology, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA 2 Department of Graduate Medical Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA 3 Department of Ophthalmology, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo 09210–170, Brazil
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 November 2011 / Revised: 21 December 2011 / Accepted: 24 December 2011 / Published: 5 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Ophthalmic Drug Delivery)
Download PDF [522 KB, 6 January 2012; original version 5 January 2012]

Abstract

Retinal degenerations cause permanent visual loss and affect millions world-wide. Current treatment strategies, such as gene therapy and anti-angiogenic drugs, merely delay disease progression. Research is underway which aims to regenerate the diseased retina by transplanting a variety of cell types, including embryonic stem cells, fetal cells, progenitor cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. Initial retinal transplantation studies injected stem and progenitor cells into the vitreous or subretinal space with the hope that these donor cells would migrate to the site of retinal degeneration, integrate within the host retina and restore functional vision. Despite promising outcomes, these studies showed that the bolus injection technique gave rise to poorly localized tissue grafts. Subsequently, retinal tissue engineers have drawn upon the success of bone, cartilage and vasculature tissue engineering by employing a polymeric tissue engineering approach. This review will describe the evolution of retinal tissue engineering to date, with particular emphasis on the types of polymers that have routinely been used in recent investigations. Further, this review will show that the field of retinal tissue engineering will require new types of materials and fabrication techniques that optimize the survival, differentiation and delivery of retinal transplant cells.
Keywords: retinal engineering; poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA); poly(lactic acid) (PLLA); poly( glycerol-sebacate) (PGS); poly(caprolactone) (PCL) retinal engineering; poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA); poly(lactic acid) (PLLA); poly( glycerol-sebacate) (PGS); poly(caprolactone) (PCL)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Trese, M.; Regatieri, C.V.; Young, M.J. Advances in Retinal Tissue Engineering. Materials 2012, 5, 108-120.

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