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Part of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 1-8

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3D Stacked Construct: A Novel Substitute for Corneal Tissue Engineering

  • Shrestha PriyadarsiniAffiliated withDepartment of Ophthalmology/Dean McGee Eye Institute, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
  • , Sarah E. NicholasAffiliated withDepartment of Ophthalmology/Dean McGee Eye Institute, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
  • , Dimitrios KaramichosAffiliated withDepartment of Ophthalmology/Dean McGee Eye Institute, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Email author 

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Abstract

Corneal trauma/injury often results in serious complications including permanent vision loss or loss of visual acuity which demands corneal transplantations or treatment with allogenic graft tissues. There is currently a huge shortage of donor tissue worldwide and the need for human corneal equivalents increases annually. In order to meet such demand the current clinical approach of treating corneal injuries is limited and involves synthetic and allogenic materials which have various shortcomings when it comes to actual transplantations. In this study we introduce the newly developed, next generation of our previously established 3D self-assembled constructs, where multiple constructs are grown and stacked on top of each other without any other artificial product. This new technology brings our 3D in vitro model closer to what is seen in vivo and provides a solid foundation for future studies on corneal biology.

Lipids are known for playing a vital role during metabolism and diseased state of various tissues and Sphingolipids are one such class of lipids which are involved in various cellular mechanisms and signaling processes. The impacts of Sphingolipids that have been documented in several human diseases often involve inflammation, neovascularization, tumorigenesis, and diabetes, but these conditions are not yet thoroughly studied. There is very little information about the exact role of Sphingolipids in the human cornea and future studies aiming at dissecting the mechanisms and pathways involved in order to develop novel therapies. We believe that our novel 3D stacked model can be used to delineate the role of Sphingolipids in the human cornea and provide new insights for understanding and treating various human corneal diseases.

Keywords:

3D constructs Cornea Extra cellular matrix Sphingolipids Stacking