Acellular porcine corneal matrix as a carrier scaffold for cultivating human corneal epithelial cells and fibroblasts in vitro
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Supported by the National Natural Science Fundation of China (No. 81271716).

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    AIM: To investigate the feasibility of corneal anterior lamellar reconstruction with human corneal epithelial cells and fibroblasts, and an acellular porcine cornea matrix (APCM) in vitro. METHODS: The scaffold was prepared from fresh porcine corneas which were treated with 0.5% sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) solution and the complete removal of corneal cells was confirmed by hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining and 4’, 6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining. Human corneal fibroblasts and epithelial cells were cultured with leaching liquid extracted from APCM, and then cell proliferative ability was evaluated by MTT assay. To construct a human corneal anterior lamellar replacement, corneal fibroblasts were injected into the APCM and cultured for 3d, followed by culturing corneal epithelial cells on the stroma construction surface for another 10d. The corneal replacement was analyzed by HE staining, and immunofluorescence staining. RESULTS: Histological examination indicated that there were no cells in the APCM by HE staining, and DAPI staining did not detect any residual DNA. The leaching liquid from APCM had little influence on the proliferation ability of human corneal fibroblasts and epithelial cells. At 10d, a continuous 3 to 5 layers of human corneal epithelial cells covering the surface of the APCM was observed, and the injected corneal fibroblasts distributed within the scaffold. The phenotype of the construction was similar to normal human corneas, with high expression of cytokeratin 12 in the epithelial cell layer and high expression of vimentin in the stroma. CONCLUSION: Corneal anterior lamellar replacement can be reconstructed in vitro by cultivating human corneal epithelial cells and fibroblasts with an acellular porcine cornea matrix. This laid the foundation for the further transplantation in vivo.

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Ju Zhang, Can-Wei Zhang, Li-Qun Du, et al. Acellular porcine corneal matrix as a carrier scaffold for cultivating human corneal epithelial cells and fibroblasts in vitro. Int J Ophthalmol, 2016,9(1):1-8

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  • Received:April 02,2015
  • Revised:July 22,2015
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  • Online: December 29,2015
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