Date of Award
Thesis - SCU Access Only
Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2017.
An estimated 10 million people around the world suffer from blindness due to corneal damage. However, due to a lack of donor cornea supply, less than 1% of patients suffering from corneal blindness benefit from a proven corneal transplant procedure. Our project is focused on making bioengineered collagen based corneas for corneal transplants. The project will be divided into the manufacturing of lenticles (lens shaped corneal replacements), and cellular studies of epithelialization and cellular ingrowth on vitrified collagen substrates. Manufacturing consistency, lenticular geometry, mechanical strength, and optical clarity were the primary goals of the manufacturing side of the project. Characterization of cellular activity, epithelialization, and exploration of the effect of stiffness on epithelialization were focuses of the cellular study side of our project. We worked with industry company Eyegenix, LLC to develop an efficient protocol that will lead to the creation of a biosynthetic cornea that can aid in the donor shortage and provide treatment options to blind patients. We were able to achieve consistent manufacturing of lenticles with geometry, clarity, and strength of the native cornea, as well as observe healthy epithelial cell growth, suggesting biocompatibility as a transplant substitute.
Krmpotic, Alexandra; Morrison, Wil; and Vuong, Kevin, "Collagen Vitrigels for Corneal Replacement" (2017). Bioengineering Senior Theses. 58.