Novel Bio-synthetic Matrix For Ocular Surface Reconstruction

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: School of Medicine

Abstract

Lay Description

The cornea can be affected by infection, inflammation or trauma resulting in pain and potential blindness. The amniotic membrane (a membrane that surrounds a baby in the womb) has healing qualities which can be used in surgery to prevent scarring and promote healing of such corneal diseases. However, results can be unpredictable due to bio-chemical variations of the amniotic membrane. Also there is potential risk of cross-infection even though appropriate screening has been undertaken. We propose a collaboration between the Division of Ophthalmology and materials specialist (Tissue Engineering Group), to develop a synthetic material which resembles this membrane but is standardised and readily available. Currently, we are able to grow cells which are beneficial to the wound healing process in vitro. We hope to combine this technology with the expertise of material scientist to generate an artificial matrix that will support the growth of these cells and may be used to aid wound healing of the ocular surface. This material can be of benefit in reconstruction of other tissues of the body.

Technical Summary

Abstract of Research

Trauma, infection and melting disorders of the cornea can result in scarring, vascularisation and irreparable loss of corneal stromal tissue, with occasional perforation of the globe itself leading to visual loss. One modality of modulating wound healing and promoting tissue regeneration is the use of amniotic membrane. There are however, significant variations in clinical efficacy of amniotic membrane. Through the collaboration with the Tissue Engineering Group at the University of Nottingham we propose to develop an artificial bioengineered construct consisting of a synthetic matrix and ex vivo expanded corneal keratocyte derived stromal cells KDSC and their derivatives. We aim to incorporate known growth factors and adhesion molecules in to the synthetic matrix that will support ex vivo expanded KDSC. The Tissue Engineering Group has extensive experience in the surface engineering of synthetic materials to generate biological responses using proteins and synthetic peptides. The ultimately, this will lead to the development of an artificial bioengineered construct that is standardised and readily available for clinical use to promote wound healing and tissue regeneration.

Publications

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