For many years, corneal transplantation has been the first-choice treatment for irreversible damage affecting the anterior part of the eye. However, the low number of cornea donors and cases of graft rejection highlighted the need to replace donor corneas with new biomaterials. Tissue engineering plays a fundamental role in achieving this goal through challenging research into a construct that must reflect all the properties of the cornea that are essential to ensure correct vision. In this review, the anatomy and physiology of the cornea are described to point out the main roles of the corneal layers to be compensated and all the requirements expected from the material to be manufactured. Then, a deep investigation of alginate as a suitable alternative to donor tissue was conducted. Thanks to its adaptability, transparency and low immunogenicity, alginate has emerged as a promising candidate for the realization of bioengineered materials for corneal regeneration. Chemical modifications and the blending of alginate with other functional compounds allow the control of its mechanical, degradation and cell-proliferation features, enabling it to go beyond its limits, improving its functionality in the field of corneal tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Alginate-Based Composites for Corneal Regeneration: The Optimization of a Biomaterial to Overcome Its Limits

Cristiano M. C.;Fresta M.;Paolino D.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

For many years, corneal transplantation has been the first-choice treatment for irreversible damage affecting the anterior part of the eye. However, the low number of cornea donors and cases of graft rejection highlighted the need to replace donor corneas with new biomaterials. Tissue engineering plays a fundamental role in achieving this goal through challenging research into a construct that must reflect all the properties of the cornea that are essential to ensure correct vision. In this review, the anatomy and physiology of the cornea are described to point out the main roles of the corneal layers to be compensated and all the requirements expected from the material to be manufactured. Then, a deep investigation of alginate as a suitable alternative to donor tissue was conducted. Thanks to its adaptability, transparency and low immunogenicity, alginate has emerged as a promising candidate for the realization of bioengineered materials for corneal regeneration. Chemical modifications and the blending of alginate with other functional compounds allow the control of its mechanical, degradation and cell-proliferation features, enabling it to go beyond its limits, improving its functionality in the field of corneal tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
2022
alginate
corneal endothelial disease
corneal regeneration
hydrogel
regenerative medicine
tissue engineering
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12317/89317
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