Decellularization of human stromal refractive lenticules for corneal tissue engineering
Yam, Gary Hin-Fai
Yusoff, Nur Zahirah Binte M.
Mehta, Jodhbir Singh
Date of Issue2016
School of Materials Science and Engineering
Small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) becomes a procedure to correct myopia. The extracted lenticule can be used for other clinical scenarios. To prepare for allogeneic implantation, lenticule decellularization with preserved optical property, stromal architecture and chemistry would be necessary. We evaluated different methods to decellularize thin human corneal stromal lenticules created by femtosecond laser. Treatment with 0.1% sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS) followed by extensive washes was the most efficient protocol to remove cellular and nuclear materials. Empty cell space was found inside the stroma, which displayed aligned collagen fibril architecture similar to native stroma. The SDS-based method was superior to other treatments with hyperosmotic 1.5 M sodium chloride, 0.1% Triton X-100 and nucleases (from 2 to 10 U/ml DNase and RNase) in preserving extracellular matrix content (collagens, glycoproteins and glycosaminoglycans). The stromal transparency and light transmittance was indifferent to untreated lenticules. In vitro recellularization showed that the SDS-treated lenticules supported corneal stromal fibroblast growth. In vivo re-implantation into a rabbit stromal pocket further revealed the safety and biocompatibility of SDS-decellularized lenticules without short- and long-term rejection risk. Our results concluded that femtosecond laser-derived human stromal lenticules decellularized by 0.1% SDS could generate a transplantable bioscaffold with native-like stromal architecture and chemistry.
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