Tissue Engineering Restores Deep Burns of Cornea

Russian scientists took a close look
on cornea tissue engineering
© Hemera

Specialists of the Koltsov Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Gelmgolts Scientific Research Institute of Eye Diseases suggest that deep burns of cornea should be treated by transplanting artificial equivalent of stroma on the affected area.

The share of burns among all eye traumas makes about 38 percent, with considerable proportion of cases involving cornea damage. If the stroma connective tissue is missing or significantly destroyed, the remaining cornea cells are unable to recover injuries as they have no support. Therefore, the major task in treating cornea defects is stroma recovery.

The Russian scientists created a live equivalent of stroma - a temporary framework, along which cornea cells could crawl over to the damaged area. The live equivalent of stroma represents human fibroblasts inclosed in collagen gel that can be kept for several days. Human fibroblasts were picked out of skin fragments remaining after cosmetic surgery or from the 3- to 5-week abortive material. The method has successfully passed first clinical trials.

The researchers treated 21 patients with severe and extremely severe eye burns. Previously, a lot of volunteers had already tried other treatment modes but without success. The ophthalmologists moved away mortified cells, laid a transplant on the wound and closed the transplant with a soft contact lens.

The live equivalent of stroma allowed not only to preserve traumatisd patients' eyes, but even to partially recover eyesight. The cornea retained transparency, which allowed to achieve maximum acuity of vision possible in case of such trauma (0.2-0.7). If at the point of treatment the cornea had been blurred, afterwards, acuity of vision did not exceed 0.06.

However, with very young patients who started the treatment immediately after burning and cured it quickly, the cornea became more transparent in the course of time.

MEDICA.de; Source: Informnauka (Informscience) Agency