Optimisation and characterisation of human corneal stromal models
Wilson, Samantha Louise
mesheuropmc: eye diseases | genetic structures | sense organs
The native corneal structure is highly organised and unified in architecture with structural and functional integration which mediates its transparency and mechanical strength. Two of the most demanding challenges in corneal tissue engineering are the replication of the native corneal stromal architecture and the preservation of stromal cell phenotype which prevents scar-like tissue formation. A concerted effort in this thesis has been devoted to the generation of a functional human corneal stromal model by the manipulation of chemical, topographical and cellular cues. To achieve this, previously built non-destructive, online, real-time monitoring techniques, micro-indentation and optical coherence tomography (OCT), which allow for the mechanical and contraction properties of corneal equivalents to be monitored, have been improved. These macroscopic parameters have been cross-validated by histological, imunohistochemical, morphological and genetic expression analysis.