Clinical applications of bioengineered tissue-cellular products for management of corneal diseases

Tu M. Tran, Joshua H. Hou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose of reviewTo discuss bioengineered tissue-cellular products for treatment of corneal diseases that are currently in clinical use. These include tissue-cellular products that have received regulatory approval, are being used off-label in clinical practice, or are in active use in clinical trials.Recent findingsDue to the global shortage of donor corneal tissue, significant efforts have been made to develop bioengineering tissue-cellular products that can replace or augment the use of cadaveric tissue for corneal transplantation. The development of carrier substrates to support transplantation of cultivated limbal epithelial transplantation (CLET) has been a growing area of research. CLET offers a promising therapeutic alternative to conventional simple limbal epithelial transplantation and keratolimbal allografts for treatment of limbal stem cell deficiency. Engineered tissue matrices and porcine-derived corneas are potential alternatives to human donor tissue in anterior lamellar keratoplasty for corneal ulcers and scars, as well as intrastromal transplants for advanced keratoconus. For endothelial disease, substrate supported cultured endothelial cell grafts, and synthetic barrier devices are promising alternative to traditional endothelial keratoplasties.SummaryThere has been increasing interest in cellular and acellular bioengineered tissue-cellular and synthetic products for treatment of corneal diseases, and many of these products have already seen clinical use. Industry and academia have important roles in advancing these products to later phase clinical trials and comparing them to conventional allograft approaches. Future development of full thickness donor corneas with cultivated epithelium, endothelium, and stromal keratocytes in a biosynthetic matrix will likely be an important next step in tissue alternatives. Continued progress in this field will be critical for addressing the global disease burden from corneal blindness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-323
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Opinion in Ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • bioengineered graft
  • biomaterials
  • cornea
  • keratoplasty
  • matrix
  • polymer
  • scaffold
  • synthetic
  • tissue engineering

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Review
  • Journal Article


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