The mouse cornea as a transplantation site for live imaging of engineered tissue constructs

Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2010 Apr;2010(4):pdb.prot5416. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot5416.


The field of tissue engineering aims to recapitulate healthy human organs and 3-D tissue structures in vitro and then transplant these constructs in vivo where they can be effectively integrated within the recipient patient and become perfused by the host circulation. To improve the design of materials for artificial tissue scaffolds, it would be ideal to have a high-throughput imaging system that allows one to directly monitor transplanted tissue constructs in live animals over an extended period of time. By combining such an assay with transgenic, cell-specific fluorescent reporters, one could monitor such parameters as tissue construct perfusion, donor cell survival, and donor-host cell interaction/integration. Here, we describe a protocol for a modified version of the classical corneal micropocket angiogenesis assay, employing it as a live imaging "window" to monitor angiogenic poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based hydrogel tissue constructs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cornea / surgery*
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Implants, Experimental*
  • Mice
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Transplantation / methods*