Special Issue "Corneal Disease and Biomaterials"

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A special issue of Journal of Functional Biomaterials (ISSN 2079-4983).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Dimitrios Karamichos (Website)

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 608 Stanton L. Young Blvd, DMEI PA-409, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA
Interests: corneal fibrosis; dystrophies; wound healing; innovative materials; development and implementation of novel materials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil, and anterior chamber. Cornea is a highly organized tissue and responsible for two-thirds of the eye’s total optical power. It is vital therefore to keep the cornea transparent in order to ensure good vision. Partial or complete vision loss may occur upon corneal injury and/or disease. Common corneal diseases and disorders include, but are not limited to: corneal abrasion, corneal dystrophy, corneal ulcer, Fuchs’ dystrophy, keratitis, and keratoconus.
Despite many advances, corneal transplantation remains one of the most common procedures. Approximately 100,000 procedures are performed worldwide every year, and around 10 million people are in need of corneal transplantation. Clearly, alternative solutions are required in order to treat those affected by some kind of corneal disease. Development of in vitro biomaterials and tissue engineering solutions are vital and necessary. Such discoveries can lead to the development of new therapeutic targets and can benefit a huge number of patients with corneal diseases.

Prof. Dr. Dimitrios Karamichos
Guest Edito
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Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Functional Biomaterials is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • cornea
  • tissue engineering
  • corneal fibrosis
  • novel biomaterials
  • therapeutic technologies
  • corneal disease

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Fibroblastic Transformation of Corneal Keratocytes by Rac Inhibition is Modulated by Extracellular Matrix Structure and Stiffness
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(2), 222-240; doi:10.3390/jfb6020222
Received: 9 February 2015 / Revised: 6 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4498 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The goal of this study was to investigate how alterations in extracellular matrix (ECM) biophysical properties modulate corneal keratocyte phenotypes in response to specific wound healing cytokines and Rho GTPases. Rabbit corneal keratocytes were plated within standard collagen matrices (2.5 mg/mL) or [...] Read more.
The goal of this study was to investigate how alterations in extracellular matrix (ECM) biophysical properties modulate corneal keratocyte phenotypes in response to specific wound healing cytokines and Rho GTPases. Rabbit corneal keratocytes were plated within standard collagen matrices (2.5 mg/mL) or compressed collagen matrices (~100 mg/mL) and cultured in serum-free media, PDGF BB, IGF, FGF2 or TGFβ1, with or without the Rac1 inhibitor NSC23766 and/or the Rho kinase inhibitor Y-27632. After 1 to 4 days, cells were labeled for F-actin and imaged using confocal microscopy. Keratocytes within standard collagen matrices (which are highly compliant) maintained a dendritic phenotype following culture in serum-free media, PDGF, IGF and FGF, but developed stress fibers in TGFβ1. Keratocytes within compressed collagen (which has high stiffness and low porosity) maintained a dendritic phenotype following culture in serum-free media, PDGF and IGF, but developed stress fibers in both FGF and TGFβ1. The Rac inhibitor had no significant impact on growth factor responses in compliant matrices. Within compressed collagen matrices however, the Rac inhibitor induced fibroblastic transformation in serum-free media, PDGF and IGF. Fibroblast and myofibroblast transformation was blocked by Rho kinase inhibition. Overall, keratocyte growth factor responses appear to be regulated by both the interplay between Rho and Rac signaling, and the structural and mechanical properties of the ECM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Corneal Disease and Biomaterials)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Keratoprosthesis: A Review of Recent Advances in the Field
J. Funct. Biomater. 2016, 7(2), 13; doi:10.3390/jfb7020013
Received: 27 March 2016 / Revised: 4 May 2016 / Accepted: 13 May 2016 / Published: 19 May 2016
PDF Full-text (4031 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since its discovery in the years of the French Revolution, the field of keratoprostheses has evolved significantly. However, the path towards its present state has not always been an easy one. Initially discarded for its devastating complications, the introduction of new materials [...] Read more.
Since its discovery in the years of the French Revolution, the field of keratoprostheses has evolved significantly. However, the path towards its present state has not always been an easy one. Initially discarded for its devastating complications, the introduction of new materials and the discovery of antibiotics in the last century gave new life to the field. Since then, the use of keratoprostheses for severe ocular surface disorders and corneal opacities has increased significantly, to the point that it has become a standard procedure for corneal specialists worldwide. Although the rate of complications has significantly been reduced, these can impede the long-term success, since some of them can be visually devastating. In an attempt to overcome these complications, researchers in the field have been recently working on improving the design of the currently available devices, by introducing the use of new materials that are more biocompatible with the eye. Here we present an update on the most recent research in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Corneal Disease and Biomaterials)
Open AccessReview Nanomedicine Approaches for Corneal Diseases
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(2), 277-298; doi:10.3390/jfb6020277
Received: 10 February 2015 / Revised: 28 April 2015 / Accepted: 28 April 2015 / Published: 30 April 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (4008 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Corneal diseases are the third leading cause of blindness globally. Topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), steroids, antibiotics and tissue transplantation are currently used to treat corneal pathological conditions. However, barrier properties of the ocular surface necessitate high concentration of the drugs applied [...] Read more.
Corneal diseases are the third leading cause of blindness globally. Topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), steroids, antibiotics and tissue transplantation are currently used to treat corneal pathological conditions. However, barrier properties of the ocular surface necessitate high concentration of the drugs applied in the eye repeatedly. This often results in poor efficacy and several side-effects. Nanoparticle-based molecular medicine seeks to overcome these limitations by enhancing the permeability and pharmacological properties of the drugs. The promise of nanomedicine approaches for treating corneal defects and restoring vision without side effects in preclinical animal studies has been demonstrated. Numerous polymeric, metallic and hybrid nanoparticles capable of transporting genes into desired corneal cells to intercept pathologic pathways and processes leading to blindness have been identified. This review provides an overview of corneal diseases, nanovector properties and their applications in drug-delivery and corneal disease management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Corneal Disease and Biomaterials)
Open AccessReview Tissue Engineering the Cornea: The Evolution of RAFT
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(1), 50-65; doi:10.3390/jfb6010050
Received: 15 December 2014 / Accepted: 13 January 2015 / Published: 22 January 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (561 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Corneal blindness affects over 10 million people worldwide and current treatment strategies often involve replacement of the defective layer with healthy tissue. Due to a worldwide donor cornea shortage and the absence of suitable biological scaffolds, recent research has focused on the [...] Read more.
Corneal blindness affects over 10 million people worldwide and current treatment strategies often involve replacement of the defective layer with healthy tissue. Due to a worldwide donor cornea shortage and the absence of suitable biological scaffolds, recent research has focused on the development of tissue engineering techniques to create alternative therapies. This review will detail how we have refined the simple engineering technique of plastic compression of collagen to a process we now call Real Architecture for 3D Tissues (RAFT). The RAFT production process has been standardised, and steps have been taken to consider Good Manufacturing Practice compliance. The evolution of this process has allowed us to create biomimetic epithelial and endothelial tissue equivalents suitable for transplantation and ideal for studying cell-cell interactions in vitro. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Corneal Disease and Biomaterials)
Open AccessReview Keratoconus: Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials
J. Funct. Biomater. 2014, 5(3), 111-134; doi:10.3390/jfb5030111
Received: 11 August 2014 / Revised: 26 August 2014 / Accepted: 3 September 2014 / Published: 11 September 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (777 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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. [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Corneal Disease and Biomaterials)

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