Bioengineered corneas for transplantation and in vitro toxicology

Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2009 Jan 1;14:3326-37. doi: 10.2741/3455.


Bioengineered corneas have been designed to replace partial or the full-thickness of defective corneas, as an alternative to using donor tissues. They range from prosthetic devices that solely address replacement of the cornea's function, to tissue engineered hydrogels that permit regeneration of host tissues. In cases where corneal stem cells have been depleted by injury or disease, most frequently involving the superficial epithelium, tissue engineered lamellar implants reconstructed with stem cells have been transplanted. In situ methods using ultraviolet A (UVA) crosslinking have also been developed to strengthen weakened corneas. In addition to the clinical need, bioengineered corneas are also rapidly gaining importance in the area of in vitro toxicology, as alternatives to animal testing. More complex, fully innervated, physiologically active, three-dimensional organotypic models are also being tested.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cornea / drug effects
  • Cornea / growth & development*
  • Corneal Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Tissue Engineering*
  • Toxicity Tests