A fibrin-based bioengineered ocular surface with human corneal epithelial stem cells

Bin Han, Ivan R. Schwab, Trista K. Madsen, Roslyn Rivkah Isseroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

98 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose. The purpose of the investigation was to prepare a bioengineered ocular surface tissue replacement consisting of (presumed) human corneal epithelial stem cells in a cross-linked fibrin gel for potential transplant. Methods. Presumed human epithelial stem cells were harvested, isolated, and cultivated as previously described from adult donor corneas obtained from a tissue and organ bank. The cultured corneal epithelial stem cells were suspended in a fibronectin/fibrin gel cross-linked by factor XIII. Plasma components were derived from a fibrinogen-rich cryoprecipitate of human plasma. Suspended cells proliferated in the fibrin gel, giving rise to colonies that eventually coalesced to near confluence over the 15 days of cultivation. The gels were sectioned and immunostained for keratin 3 (AE5) and keratin 19. Results. The fibrin gel product with corneal stem cells was easily manageable and maneuverable. Addition of the protease inhibitor aprotinin to the incubation medium prevented gel degradation; once it was removed, gels disintegrated within 24 hours. All of the cells cultivated in the fibrin gel stained positively for keratin 3 (AE5), indicating differentiation along the corneal epithelium lineage. Cells located in the center of the colonies were keratin 19-positive, suggesting a more primitive cell type. Growth kinetics were documented. Conclusions. A bioengineered ocular surface with a combination of presumed corneal epithelial stem cells in a cross-linked fibrin gel represents a potential improvement in current attempts to create a transportable, pliable, and stable tissue replacement. Since both the cells and the plasma components of the fibrin gel are of human origin, this technique provides the potential for a totally autologous bioengineered replacement tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-510
Number of pages6
JournalCornea
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

Keywords

  • Corneal epithelial cell
  • Corneal stem cells
  • Cultured stem cell
  • Fibrin gel
  • Fibrin matrix
  • Human cornea
  • Limbus
  • Tissue bioengineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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