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T van Essen, Sarah Sparks, Lisanne van Zijl, Greg Chen, Chien Lin, Horng Lai, Gregorius Luyten, Abdoelwaheb El Ghalbzouri, Martine Jager; A fish scale-derived scaffold for corneal reconstruction. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):3480.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
A natural occurring, easy obtainable fish scale-derived collagen scaffold (FSCS) has been developed for reconstructing the cornea. This FSCS could form a cheap and simple alternative to current keratoprostheses. We assessed in vitro whether the FSCS can be repopulated by epithelium and fibroblasts. In addition, we evaluated cell adhesion of the FSCS and measured its optical properties.
The light scattering and transmission values of the FSCS, a decalcified and decellularized layered build collagen type I extracellular matrix, were measured. In addition, human corneal epithelial cells (HCECs) and human corneal stromal cells were co-cultured with the FSCS. Dispase and laser treatments were used to optimize entrance for stromal cells into the FSCS. The cytotoxicity of FSCS was assessed using an MTT assay. The effect of FSCS on cellular repopulation, morphology, phenotype, and adhesion were analyzed using an EdU proliferation assay, histology, and immunhistochemical stainings.
The FSCS had a light scattering value of log(s) =1.62 and direct light transmission of 90%. Human stromal cells and HCECs proliferated on the FSCS. HCECs were positive for differentiation marker CK3/12, several adhesion markers and deposited laminin. Treatment with dispase II and laser generated horizontal tunnels allowed stromal cells to extend their cytoplasma in between the created spaces.
This easy obtainable, natural occurring FSCS demonstrates a reasonable optical clarity, is able to sustain (primary) corneal epithelium and seem to facilitate attachment for stromal cells. These properties highlight its potential as candidate for corneal reconstruction and as alternative to current keratoprostheses. More research on cellular adhesion and reduction of light scattering will be performed.
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