Emerging Approaches for Ocular Surface Regeneration
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Purpose of Review
In this manuscript, the recent advancements and novel approaches for regeneration of the ocular surface are summarized.
Following severe injuries, persistent inflammation can alter the rehabilitative capability of the ocular surface environment. Limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) is one of the most characterized ocular surface disorders mediated by deficiency and/or dysfunction of the limbal epithelial stem cells (LESCs) located in the limbal niche. Currently, the most advanced approach for revitalizing the ocular surface and limbal niche is based on transplantation of limbal tissues harboring LESCs. Emerging approaches have focused on restoring the ocular surface microenvironment using (1) cell-based therapies including cells with capabilities to support the LESCs and modulate the inflammation, e.g., mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), (2) bioactive extracellular matrices from decellularized tissues, and/or purified/synthetic molecules to regenerate the microenvironment structure, and (3) soluble cytokine/growth factor cocktails to revive the signaling pathways.
Ocular surface/limbal environment revitalization provides promising approaches for regeneration of the ocular surface.
KeywordsOcular surface regeneration Corneal epithelium Limbal stem cell niche Limbal epithelial stem cell deficiency Extracellular matrix Mesenchymal stem cells
Sources of Support
This research was supported by R01 EY024349 (ARD) and core grant EY01792 from NEI/NIH and unrestricted grant to the Department of Ophthalmology from Research to Prevent Blindness.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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