A novel strategy for corneal endothelial reconstruction with a bioengineered cell sheet

Transplantation. 2006 Feb 15;81(3):473-6. doi: 10.1097/01.tp.0000194864.13539.2c.


Cellular organization of foreign grafts constructed from cultivated cells is critical to successful graft-host integration and tissue repair. This study described a novel human corneal endothelial cell (HCEC) therapeutic method, where cultivated adult HCEC sheet with uniform orientation was prepared and transplanted to a rabbit cornea. Having a correct morphology and intact barriers, the HCEC sheet was made by the temperature-modulated detachment of monolayered HCECs from thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm)-grafted surfaces and was delivered with proper polarity to the corneal posterior surface by a bioadhesive gelatin disc. Results of the in vivo studies, including the follow-up clinical observations and histological examinations, showed the laminated HCEC sheet was successfully integrated into rabbit cornea denuded with endothelial layer after the biodegradation of gelatin carrier. These data indicate the feasibility of the proposed procedure in cell therapy for corneal endothelial cell loss.

MeSH terms

  • Acrylamides / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Corneal Transplantation / methods*
  • Endothelium, Corneal / chemistry
  • Endothelium, Corneal / cytology*
  • Endothelium, Corneal / growth & development*
  • Humans
  • Rabbits
  • Temperature
  • Tissue Engineering*


  • Acrylamides
  • N-isopropylacrylamide