Irreversible optical clearing of rabbit dermis for autogenic corneal stroma transplantation
Tissue engineering and transplantation of autogenic grafts have been widely investigated for solving problems on current allograft treatments (i.g., donor shortage and rejection). However, it is difficult to obtain an autogenic corneal stromal replacement that is composed of transparent, tough, and thick collagen constructs by current cell culture-based tissue engineering. Aim of this study is to develop transparent dermis for an autogenic corneal stroma transplantation. This study examined dehydration at 4–8 °C and carbodiimide cross-linking on cloudy rabbit dermis (approx. 1.8%–3.8% light transmittance at 550 nm) for dermis optical clearing. Transparency of dehydrated rabbit dermis was founded to be approx. 37.9%–41.4% at 550 nm. Additional cross-linking treatment on dehydrated dermis prevented from swelling and clouding in saline, and improved its transparency to be 56.9% at 550 nm. Rabbit corneal epithelium was found to regenerate on optically cleared dermis in vitro. Furthermore, no abnormal biological response (i.e., inflammation, vascularization, and the barrier defect of epithelia) or no optical functional change on optically cleared dermis was observed during its 4-week autogenic transplantation into rabbit corneal stromal pocket.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 32, Issue 28, October 2011, Pages 6764–6772