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V. E. Tovell, P. T. Khaw, M. Bailly; Development of an Ex-vivo Model to Study Tissue Contraction in the Conjunctiva. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):620.
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Post-operative scarring can lead to failure of a number of ocular surgeries, including glaucoma filtration surgery. Tissue contraction plays a key role in the scarring process and wound healing response. The aim of this study was to develop an ex-vivo model to study contraction in the conjunctiva.
Porcine conjunctiva was used to investigate the effects of the MMP inhibitor ilomastat on serum and TGFβ2 induced tissue contraction. Ex-vivo segments of porcine conjunctiva were placed in Transwell plates using transwell inserts to hold the tissue in place. Digital images were taken of the segments twice a week over a four-week period to monitor the level of tissue contraction.
Serum and TGFβ2 were found to increase the level of contraction in conjunctiva segments when compared to serum free. These increases in contraction were significantly reduced when incubated in the presence of ilomastat. The condition of the collagen matrix was also assessed at the end of the four-week period using confocal reflection microscopy and cells were visualized using the cell vital dye CFDA. Degradation of the matrix was observed in conjunctiva segments treated with serum and TGFβ2. However, in segments treated with ilomastat, the degradation was significantly reduced.
These results show that using ex-vivo segments of conjunctiva can be a useful tool for studying the effects of different drugs on tissue contraction and could provide a link between in-vitro and in-vivo models.
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