Special Issue "Ocular Tissue Engineering"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2015).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Dimitrios Karamichos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Cell Biology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, 73104, USA; Department of Ophthalmology/Dean McGee Eye Institute, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, 73104, USA
Interests: corneal wound healing; cornea trauma; keratoconus; bioengineering; bioprinting; diabetic keratopathy
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Tissue engineering emerged back in the 1990s as a new concept to overcome the problem of tissue and organ failure. Over recent decades, there has been incredible progress towards the regeneration of tissues such as bone, heart valves, cartilage, cornea, and retina. In terms of ocular tissue engineering, despite the scientific and strategic incentive for reconstructing ocular tissues, there is also a tremendous need for novel therapeutic options in treating numerous eye diseases related to tissue failure. The aim of this Special Issue is to discuss tissue engineering applications of ocular tissues including but not limited to cornea, retina, and lenses. Both research and review articles focusing on ocular diseases and tissue engineering applications are welcome.

Dr. Dimitrios Karamichos
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind 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 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Keywords

  • tissue engineering
  • cornea
  • retina
  • lens
  • ocular diseases

Published Papers (14 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial
Ocular Tissue Engineering: Current and Future Directions
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(1), 77-80; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6010077 - 17 Feb 2015
Cited by 13
Abstract
Tissue engineering (TE) is a concept that was first emerged in the early 1990s to provide solutions to severe injured tissues and/or organs [1]. The dream was to be able to restore and replace the damaged tissue with an engineered version which would [...] Read more.
Tissue engineering (TE) is a concept that was first emerged in the early 1990s to provide solutions to severe injured tissues and/or organs [1]. The dream was to be able to restore and replace the damaged tissue with an engineered version which would ultimately help overcome problems such as donor shortages, graft rejections, and inflammatory responses following transplantation. While an incredible amount of progress has been made, suggesting that TE concept is viable, we are still not able to overcome major obstacles. In TE, there are two main strategies that researchers have adopted: (1) cell-based, where cells are been manipulated to create their own environment before transplanted to the host, and (2) scaffold-based, where an extracellular matrix is created to mimic in vivo structures. TE approaches for ocular tissues are available and have indeed come a long way, over the last decades; however more clinically relevant ocular tissue substitutes are needed. Figure 1 highlights the importance of TE in ocular applications and indicates the avenues available based on each tissue.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
Show Figures

Figure 1

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle
Transcriptome Analysis of Cultured Limbal Epithelial Cells on an Intact Amniotic Membrane following Hypothermic Storage in Optisol-GS
J. Funct. Biomater. 2016, 7(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb7010004 - 18 Feb 2016
Cited by 1
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying activation of cell death pathways using genome-wide transcriptional analysis in human limbal epithelial cell (HLEC) cultures following conventional hypothermic storage in Optisol-GS. Three-week HLEC cultures were stored in Optisol-GS for [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying activation of cell death pathways using genome-wide transcriptional analysis in human limbal epithelial cell (HLEC) cultures following conventional hypothermic storage in Optisol-GS. Three-week HLEC cultures were stored in Optisol-GS for 2, 4, and 7 days at 4 °C. Partek Genomics Suite software v.6.15.0422, (Partec Inc., St. Louis, MO, USA) was used to identify genes that showed significantly different (P < 0.05) levels of expression following hypothermic storage compared to non-stored cell sheets. There were few changes in gene expression after 2 days of storage, but several genes were differently regulated following 4 and 7 days of storage. The histone-coding genes HIST1H3A and HIST4H4 were among the most upregulated genes following 4 and 7 days of hypothermic storage. Bioinformatic analysis suggested that these two genes are involved in a functional network highly associated with cell death, necrosis, and transcription of RNA. HDAC1, encoding histone deacetylase 1, was the most downregulated gene after 7 days of storage. Together with other downregulated genes, it is suggested that HDAC1 is involved in a regulating network significantly associated with cellular function and maintenance, differentiation of cells, and DNA repair. Our data suggest that the upregulated expression of histone-coding genes together with downregulated genes affecting cell differentiation and DNA repair may be responsible for increased cell death following hypothermic storage of cultured HLEC. In summary, our results demonstrated that a higher number of genes changed with increasing storage time. Moreover, in general, larger differences in absolute gene expression values were observed with increasing storage time. Further understanding of these molecular mechanisms is important for optimization of storage technology for limbal epithelial sheets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Incorporation of Human Recombinant Tropoelastin into Silk Fibroin Membranes with the View to Repairing Bruch’s Membrane
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 946-962; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030946 - 16 Sep 2015
Cited by 7
Abstract
Bombyx mori silk fibroin membranes provide a potential delivery vehicle for both cells and extracellular matrix (ECM) components into diseased or injured tissues. We have previously demonstrated the feasibility of growing retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) on fibroin membranes with the view to [...] Read more.
Bombyx mori silk fibroin membranes provide a potential delivery vehicle for both cells and extracellular matrix (ECM) components into diseased or injured tissues. We have previously demonstrated the feasibility of growing retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) on fibroin membranes with the view to repairing the retina of patients afflicted with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The goal of the present study was to investigate the feasibility of incorporating the ECM component elastin, in the form of human recombinant tropoelastin, into these same membranes. Two basic strategies were explored: (1) membranes prepared from blended solutions of fibroin and tropoelastin; and (2) layered constructs prepared from sequentially cast solutions of fibroin, tropoelastin, and fibroin. Optimal conditions for RPE attachment were achieved using a tropoelastin-fibroin blend ratio of 10 to 90 parts by weight. Retention of tropoelastin within the blend and layered constructs was confirmed by immunolabelling and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). In the layered constructs, the bulk of tropoelastin was apparently absorbed into the initially cast fibroin layer. Blend membranes displayed higher elastic modulus, percentage elongation, and tensile strength (p < 0.01) when compared to the layered constructs. RPE cell response to fibroin membranes was not affected by the presence of tropoelastin. These findings support the potential use of fibroin membranes for the co-delivery of RPE cells and tropoelastin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Human Keratoconus Cell Contractility is Mediated by Transforming Growth Factor-Beta Isoforms
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(2), 422-438; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6020422 - 18 Jun 2015
Cited by 8
Abstract
Keratoconus (KC) is a progressive disease linked to defects in the structural components of the corneal stroma. The extracellular matrix (ECM) is secreted and assembled by corneal keratocytes and regulated by transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β). We have previously identified alterations in the TGF-β [...] Read more.
Keratoconus (KC) is a progressive disease linked to defects in the structural components of the corneal stroma. The extracellular matrix (ECM) is secreted and assembled by corneal keratocytes and regulated by transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β). We have previously identified alterations in the TGF-β pathway in human keratoconus cells (HKCs) compared to normal corneal fibroblasts (HCFs). In our current study, we seeded HKCs and HCFs in 3D-collagen gels to identify variations in contractility, and expression of matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) by HKCs in response the TGF-β isoforms. HKCs showed delayed contractility with decreased Collagen I:Collagen V ratios. TGF-β1 significantly increased ECM contraction, Collagen I, and Collagen V expression by HKCs. We also found that HKCs have significantly decreased Collagen I:Collagen III ratios suggesting a potential link to altered collagen isoform expression in KC. Our findings show that HKCs have significant variations in collagen secretion in a 3D collagen gel and have delayed contraction of the matrix compared to HCFs. For the first time, we utilize a collagen gel model to characterize the contractility and MMP expression by HKCs that may contribute to the pathobiology of KC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Treatment of Silk Fibroin with Poly(ethylene glycol) for the Enhancement of Corneal Epithelial Cell Growth
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(2), 345-366; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6020345 - 29 May 2015
Cited by 18
Abstract
A silk protein, fibroin, was isolated from the cocoons of the domesticated silkworm (Bombyx mori) and cast into membranes to serve as freestanding templates for tissue-engineered corneal cell constructs to be used in ocular surface reconstruction. In this study, we sought [...] Read more.
A silk protein, fibroin, was isolated from the cocoons of the domesticated silkworm (Bombyx mori) and cast into membranes to serve as freestanding templates for tissue-engineered corneal cell constructs to be used in ocular surface reconstruction. In this study, we sought to enhance the attachment and proliferation of corneal epithelial cells by increasing the permeability of the fibroin membranes and the topographic roughness of their surface. By mixing the fibroin solution with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) of molecular weight 300 Da, membranes were produced with increased permeability and with topographic patterns generated on their surface. In order to enhance their mechanical stability, some PEG-treated membranes were also crosslinked with genipin. The resulting membranes were thoroughly characterized and compared to the non-treated membranes. The PEG-treated membranes were similar in tensile strength to the non-treated ones, but their elastic modulus was higher and elongation lower, indicating enhanced rigidity. The crosslinking with genipin did not induce a significant improvement in mechanical properties. In cultures of a human-derived corneal epithelial cell line (HCE-T), the PEG treatment of the substratum did not improve the attachment of cells and it enhanced only slightly the cell proliferation in the longer term. Likewise, primary cultures of human limbal epithelial cells grew equally well on both non-treated and PEG-treated membranes, and the stratification of cultures was consistently improved in the presence of an underlying culture of irradiated 3T3 feeder cells, irrespectively of PEG-treatment. Nevertheless, the cultures grown on the PEG-treated membranes in the presence of feeder cells did display a higher nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio suggesting a more proliferative phenotype. We concluded that while the treatment with PEG had a significant effect on some structural properties of the B. mori silk fibroin (BMSF) membranes, there were minimal gains in the performance of these materials as a substratum for corneal epithelial cell growth. The reduced mechanical stability of freestanding PEG-treated membranes makes them a less viable choice than the non-treated membranes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview
Culture of Oral Mucosal Epithelial Cells for the Purpose of Treating Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency
J. Funct. Biomater. 2016, 7(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb7010005 - 01 Mar 2016
Cited by 10
Abstract
The cornea is critical for normal vision as it allows allowing light transmission to the retina. The corneal epithelium is renewed by limbal epithelial cells (LEC), which are located in the periphery of the cornea, the limbus. Damage or disease involving LEC may [...] Read more.
The cornea is critical for normal vision as it allows allowing light transmission to the retina. The corneal epithelium is renewed by limbal epithelial cells (LEC), which are located in the periphery of the cornea, the limbus. Damage or disease involving LEC may lead to various clinical presentations of limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD). Both severe pain and blindness may result. Transplantation of cultured autologous oral mucosal epithelial cell sheet (CAOMECS) represents the first use of a cultured non-limbal autologous cell type to treat this disease. Among non-limbal cell types, CAOMECS and conjunctival epithelial cells are the only laboratory cultured cell sources that have been explored in humans. Thus far, the expression of p63 is the only predictor of clinical outcome following transplantation to correct LSCD. The optimal culture method and substrate for CAOMECS is not established. The present review focuses on cell culture methods, with particular emphasis on substrates. Most culture protocols for CAOMECS used amniotic membrane as a substrate and included the xenogeneic components fetal bovine serum and murine 3T3 fibroblasts. However, it has been demonstrated that tissue-engineered epithelial cell sheet grafts can be successfully fabricated using temperature-responsive culture surfaces and autologous serum. In the studies using different substrates for culture of CAOMECS, the quantitative expression of p63 was generally poorly reported; thus, more research is warranted with quantification of phenotypic data. Further research is required to develop a culture system for CAOMECS that mimics the natural environment of oral/limbal/corneal epithelial cells without the need for undefined foreign materials such as serum and feeder cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Concise Review: Comparison of Culture Membranes Used for Tissue Engineered Conjunctival Epithelial Equivalents
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(4), 1064-1084; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6041064 - 11 Dec 2015
Cited by 6
Abstract
The conjunctival epithelium plays an important role in ensuring the optical clarity of the cornea by providing lubrication to maintain a smooth, refractive surface, by producing mucins critical for tear film stability and by protecting against mechanical stress and infectious agents. A large [...] Read more.
The conjunctival epithelium plays an important role in ensuring the optical clarity of the cornea by providing lubrication to maintain a smooth, refractive surface, by producing mucins critical for tear film stability and by protecting against mechanical stress and infectious agents. A large number of disorders can lead to scarring of the conjunctiva through chronic conjunctival inflammation. For controlling complications of conjunctival scarring, surgery can be considered. Surgical treatment of symblepharon includes removal of the scar tissue to reestablish the deep fornix. The surgical defect is then covered by the application of a tissue substitute. One obvious limiting factor when using autografts is the size of the defect to be covered, as the amount of healthy conjunctiva is scarce. These limitations have led scientists to develop tissue engineered conjunctival equivalents. A tissue engineered conjunctival epithelial equivalent needs to be easily manipulated surgically, not cause an inflammatory reaction and be biocompatible. This review summarizes the various substrates and membranes that have been used to culture conjunctival epithelial cells during the last three decades. Future avenues for developing tissue engineered conjunctiva are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
A Closer Look at Schlemm’s Canal Cell Physiology: Implications for Biomimetics
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 963-985; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030963 - 21 Sep 2015
Cited by 7
Abstract
Among ocular pathologies, glaucoma is the second leading cause of progressive vision loss, expected to affect 80 million people worldwide by 2020. A primary cause of glaucoma appears to be damage to the conventional outflow tract. Conventional outflow tissues, a composite of the [...] Read more.
Among ocular pathologies, glaucoma is the second leading cause of progressive vision loss, expected to affect 80 million people worldwide by 2020. A primary cause of glaucoma appears to be damage to the conventional outflow tract. Conventional outflow tissues, a composite of the trabecular meshwork and the Schlemm’s canal, regulate and maintain homeostatic responses to intraocular pressure. In glaucoma, filtration of aqueous humor into the Schlemm’s canal is hindered, leading to an increase in intraocular pressure and subsequent damage to the optic nerve, with progressive vision loss. The Schlemm’s canal encompasses a unique endothelium. Recent advances in culturing and manipulating Schlemm’s canal cells have elucidated several aspects of their physiology, including ultrastructure, cell-specific marker expression, and biomechanical properties. This review highlights these advances and discusses implications for engineering a 3D, biomimetic, in vitro model of the Schlemm’s canal endothelium to further advance glaucoma research, including drug testing and gene therapy screening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Substrates for Expansion of Corneal Endothelial Cells towards Bioengineering of Human Corneal Endothelium
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 917-945; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030917 - 11 Sep 2015
Cited by 14
Abstract
Corneal endothelium is a single layer of specialized cells that lines the posterior surface of cornea and maintains corneal hydration and corneal transparency essential for vision. Currently, transplantation is the only therapeutic option for diseases affecting the corneal endothelium. Transplantation of corneal endothelium, [...] Read more.
Corneal endothelium is a single layer of specialized cells that lines the posterior surface of cornea and maintains corneal hydration and corneal transparency essential for vision. Currently, transplantation is the only therapeutic option for diseases affecting the corneal endothelium. Transplantation of corneal endothelium, called endothelial keratoplasty, is widely used for corneal endothelial diseases. However, corneal transplantation is limited by global donor shortage. Therefore, there is a need to overcome the deficiency of sufficient donor corneal tissue. New approaches are being explored to engineer corneal tissues such that sufficient amount of corneal endothelium becomes available to offset the present shortage of functional cornea. Although human corneal endothelial cells have limited proliferative capacity in vivo, several laboratories have been successful in in vitro expansion of human corneal endothelial cells. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of different substrates employed for in vitro cultivation of human corneal endothelial cells. Advances and emerging challenges with ex vivo cultured corneal endothelial layer for the ultimate goal of therapeutic replacement of dysfunctional corneal endothelium in humans with functional corneal endothelium are also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Pre-Clinical Cell-Based Therapy for Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 863-888; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030863 - 28 Aug 2015
Cited by 13
Abstract
The cornea is essential for normal vision by maintaining transparency for light transmission. Limbal stem cells, which reside in the corneal periphery, contribute to the homeostasis of the corneal epithelium. Any damage or disease affecting the function of these cells may result in [...] Read more.
The cornea is essential for normal vision by maintaining transparency for light transmission. Limbal stem cells, which reside in the corneal periphery, contribute to the homeostasis of the corneal epithelium. Any damage or disease affecting the function of these cells may result in limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD). The condition may result in both severe pain and blindness. Transplantation of ex vivo cultured cells onto the cornea is most often an effective therapeutic strategy for LSCD. The use of ex vivo cultured limbal epithelial cells (LEC), oral mucosal epithelial cells, and conjunctival epithelial cells to treat LSCD has been explored in humans. The present review focuses on the current state of knowledge of the many other cell-based therapies of LSCD that have so far exclusively been explored in animal models as there is currently no consensus on the best cell type for treating LSCD. Major findings of all these studies with special emphasis on substrates for culture and transplantation are systematically presented and discussed. Among the many potential cell types that still have not been used clinically, we conclude that two easily accessible autologous sources, epidermal stem cells and hair follicle-derived stem cells, are particularly strong candidates for future clinical trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessReview
Peptide Amphiphiles in Corneal Tissue Engineering
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 687-707; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030687 - 06 Aug 2015
Cited by 10
Abstract
The increasing interest in effort towards creating alternative therapies have led to exciting breakthroughs in the attempt to bio-fabricate and engineer live tissues. This has been particularly evident in the development of new approaches applied to reconstruct corneal tissue. The need for tissue-engineered [...] Read more.
The increasing interest in effort towards creating alternative therapies have led to exciting breakthroughs in the attempt to bio-fabricate and engineer live tissues. This has been particularly evident in the development of new approaches applied to reconstruct corneal tissue. The need for tissue-engineered corneas is largely a response to the shortage of donor tissue and the lack of suitable alternative biological scaffolds preventing the treatment of millions of blind people worldwide. This review is focused on recent developments in corneal tissue engineering, specifically on the use of self-assembling peptide amphiphiles for this purpose. Recently, peptide amphiphiles have generated great interest as therapeutic molecules, both in vitro and in vivo. Here we introduce this rapidly developing field, and examine innovative applications of peptide amphiphiles to create natural bio-prosthetic corneal tissue in vitro. The advantages of peptide amphiphiles over other biomaterials, namely their wide range of functions and applications, versatility, and transferability are also discussed to better understand how these fascinating molecules can help solve current challenges in corneal regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Intraocular Implants for the Treatment of Autoimmune Uveitis
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 650-666; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030650 - 31 Jul 2015
Cited by 11
Abstract
Uveitis is the third leading cause of blindness in developed countries. Currently, the most widely used treatment of non-infectious uveitis is corticosteroids. Posterior uveitis and macular edema can be treated with intraocular injection of corticosteroids, however, this is problematic in chronic cases because [...] Read more.
Uveitis is the third leading cause of blindness in developed countries. Currently, the most widely used treatment of non-infectious uveitis is corticosteroids. Posterior uveitis and macular edema can be treated with intraocular injection of corticosteroids, however, this is problematic in chronic cases because of the need for repeat injections. Another option is systemic immunosuppressive therapies that have their own undesirable side effects. These systemic therapies result in a widespread suppression of the entire immune system, leaving the patient susceptible to infection. Therefore, an effective localized treatment option is preferred. With the recent advances in bioengineering, biodegradable polymers that allow for a slow sustained-release of a medication. These advances have culminated in drug delivery implants that are food and drug administration (FDA) approved for the treatment of non-infectious uveitis. In this review, we discuss the types of ocular implants available and some of the polymers used, implants used for the treatment of non-infectious uveitis, and bioengineered alternatives that are on the horizon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
Open AccessReview
Bioengineered Lacrimal Gland Organ Regeneration in Vivo
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 634-649; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030634 - 30 Jul 2015
Cited by 15
Abstract
The lacrimal gland plays an important role in maintaining a homeostatic environment for healthy ocular surfaces via tear secretion. Dry eye disease, which is caused by lacrimal gland dysfunction, is one of the most prevalent eye disorders and causes ocular discomfort, significant visual [...] Read more.
The lacrimal gland plays an important role in maintaining a homeostatic environment for healthy ocular surfaces via tear secretion. Dry eye disease, which is caused by lacrimal gland dysfunction, is one of the most prevalent eye disorders and causes ocular discomfort, significant visual disturbances, and a reduced quality of life. Current therapies for dry eye disease, including artificial tear eye drops, are transient and palliative. The lacrimal gland, which consists of acini, ducts, and myoepithelial cells, develops from its organ germ via reciprocal epithelial-mesenchymal interactions during embryogenesis. Lacrimal tissue stem cells have been identified for use in regenerative therapeutic approaches aimed at restoring lacrimal gland functions. Fully functional organ replacement, such as for tooth and hair follicles, has also been developed via a novel three-dimensional stem cell manipulation, designated the Organ Germ Method, as a next-generation regenerative medicine. Recently, we successfully developed fully functional bioengineered lacrimal gland replacements after transplanting a bioengineered organ germ using this method. This study represented a significant advance in potential lacrimal gland organ replacement as a novel regenerative therapy for dry eye disease. In this review, we will summarize recent progress in lacrimal regeneration research and the development of bioengineered lacrimal gland organ replacement therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Lipid Nanoparticles for Ocular Gene Delivery
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(2), 379-394; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6020379 - 08 Jun 2015
Cited by 34
Abstract
Lipids contain hydrocarbons and are the building blocks of cells. Lipids can naturally form themselves into nano-films and nano-structures, micelles, reverse micelles, and liposomes. Micelles or reverse micelles are monolayer structures, whereas liposomes are bilayer structures. Liposomes have been recognized as carriers for [...] Read more.
Lipids contain hydrocarbons and are the building blocks of cells. Lipids can naturally form themselves into nano-films and nano-structures, micelles, reverse micelles, and liposomes. Micelles or reverse micelles are monolayer structures, whereas liposomes are bilayer structures. Liposomes have been recognized as carriers for drug delivery. Solid lipid nanoparticles and lipoplex (liposome-polycation-DNA complex), also called lipid nanoparticles, are currently used to deliver drugs and genes to ocular tissues. A solid lipid nanoparticle (SLN) is typically spherical, and possesses a solid lipid core matrix that can solubilize lipophilic molecules. The lipid nanoparticle, called the liposome protamine/DNA lipoplex (LPD), is electrostatically assembled from cationic liposomes and an anionic protamine-DNA complex. The LPD nanoparticles contain a highly condensed DNA core surrounded by lipid bilayers. SLNs are extensively used to deliver drugs to the cornea. LPD nanoparticles are used to target the retina. Age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and diabetic retinopathy are the most common retinal diseases in humans. There have also been promising results achieved recently with LPD nanoparticles to deliver functional genes and micro RNA to treat retinal diseases. Here, we review recent advances in ocular drug and gene delivery employing lipid nanoparticles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop