Table of Contents
International Journal of Tissue Engineering
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 754245, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/754245
Research Article

In Vivo Evaluation of a Decellularized Limbal Graft for Limbal Reconstruction

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA

Received 30 June 2013; Revised 15 October 2013; Accepted 7 January 2014; Published 12 February 2014

Academic Editor: Raymund E. Horch

Copyright © 2014 Maryam A. Shafiq et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Corneal and limbal epithelial function is highly dependent on its underlying matrix. In this study, we report the in vitro and in vivo effects of a decellularized limbal matrix on corneal and limbal epithelial differentiation and repair. We demonstrate that a limbal matrix helps to maintain epithelial cells in a more proliferative and less differentiated state. We introduce a novel focal injury model to the limbus using an excimer laser and further show that transplanting a decellularized limbal graft after the limbal injury helps to promote epithelialization and reduce corneal haze formation. These results suggest that a decellularized limbal graft may be therapeutically beneficial in clinical cases of focal limbal deficiency.