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Lingli Li, huixiang ma, Yuhua Weng; Bovine lens capsule as a potential corneal endothelial cell carrier. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):2059.
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Millions of patients around the world have treatable corneal blindness but cannot receive corneal transplants due to a shortage of donor corneas. While it is possible to cultivate corneal endothelial cells (CECs) in vitro as cell sheets, these are difficult to handle and implant. A range of materials have been investigated as potential CEC carrier materials but none of them has, as yet, been adopted clinically. Bovine lens capsule (BLC) is a promising, but untested, potential solution. The purpose of this study is to examine the possibility of using fresh and freezer stored BLC as a carrier for CEC in vitro and as a tissue engineered support for use in transplant surgery.
Methods: BLCs were isolated from bovine eyes from a local abattoir and used fresh or after 1 month frozen storage. Bovine corneal endothelial cells (BCEC) were isolated from fresh bovine eyes.
Results: Stored BLC had similar cell proliferation, mechanical, glucose and protein permeability and optical transparency properties to fresh samples. Moreover, they could both enhance growth of BCECs compared to tissue culture plates, forming a monolayer of cells which resembled the healthy corneal endothelium.
Conclusions: In the present study, we have demonstrated the ability of both fresh and stored bovine lens capsules to support BCEC growth. Both tissues have the necessary transparency, mechanical and permeability properties to allow their use as tissue engineered corneal endothelium supports.
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