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J. Funct. Biomater. 2014, 5(3), 111-134; doi:10.3390/jfb5030111

Keratoconus: Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials

1
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 608 Stanton L. Young Blvd, DMEI PA-409, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA
2
Department of Ophthalmology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus C DK-800, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 August 2014 / Revised: 26 August 2014 / Accepted: 3 September 2014 / Published: 11 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Corneal Disease and Biomaterials)
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Abstract

Keratoconus (KC) is a bilateral, asymmetric, corneal disorder that is characterized by progressive thinning, steepening, and potential scarring. The prevalence of KC is stated to be 1 in 2000 persons worldwide; however, numbers vary depending on size of the study and regions. KC appears more often in South Asian, Eastern Mediterranean, and North African populations. The cause remains unknown, although a variety of factors have been considered. Genetics, cellular, and mechanical changes have all been reported; however, most of these studies have proven inconclusive. Clearly, the major problem here, like with any other ocular disease, is quality of life and the threat of vision loss. While most KC cases progress until the third or fourth decade, it varies between individuals. Patients may experience periods of several months with significant changes followed by months or years of no change, followed by another period of rapid changes. Despite the major advancements, it is still uncertain how to treat KC at early stages and prevent vision impairment. There are currently limited tissue engineering techniques and/or “smart” biomaterials that can help arrest the progression of KC. This review will focus on current treatments and how biomaterials may hold promise for the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: keratoconus; in vitro; corneal cells; tissue engineering; biomaterials keratoconus; in vitro; corneal cells; tissue engineering; biomaterials
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Karamichos, D.; Hjortdal, J. Keratoconus: Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials. J. Funct. Biomater. 2014, 5, 111-134.

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