Bioengineering and the Eye, Volume II

A special issue of Bioengineering (ISSN 2306-5354). This special issue belongs to the section "Regenerative Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2024 | Viewed by 6330

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
North Texas Eye Research Institute (NTERI), University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX 76107, USA
Interests: corneal wound healing; cornea trauma; keratoconus; bioengineering; bioprinting; diabetic keratopathy
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biomedical engineers tackle some extremely difficult challenges, such as rebuilding body parts and organs. On the other hand, biologists tackle difficult challenges of their own, including cell–cell interactions and signaling, cell–matrix communication, etc. In reality, the two of them—biomedical engineers and biologists—work together to complete their tasks and achieve their goals. In the ocular world, bioengineering is crucial as we move towards the replacement of ocular parts such as the cornea, the retina, the lens, etc.

Despite significant research, many concepts and technologies remain unexplored. The second edition of this Special Issue, “Bioengineering and the Eye”, calls for original research articles as well as reviews that tackle ocular problems using bioengineering/biomedical/tissue engineering approaches.

Prof. Dr. Dimitrios Karamichos
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Bioengineering is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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9 pages, 1560 KiB  
Communication
Neurovascular Relationships in AGEs-Based Models of Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy
by Juan S. Peña, Ranjini K. Ramanujam, Rebecca A. Risman, Valerie Tutwiler, Francois Berthiaume and Maribel Vazquez
Bioengineering 2024, 11(1), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering11010063 - 08 Jan 2024
Viewed by 954
Abstract
Diabetic retinopathy affects more than 100 million people worldwide and is projected to increase by 50% within 20 years. Increased blood glucose leads to the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which cause cellular and molecular dysfunction across neurovascular systems. These molecules [...] Read more.
Diabetic retinopathy affects more than 100 million people worldwide and is projected to increase by 50% within 20 years. Increased blood glucose leads to the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which cause cellular and molecular dysfunction across neurovascular systems. These molecules initiate the slow breakdown of the retinal vasculature and the inner blood retinal barrier (iBRB), resulting in ischemia and abnormal angiogenesis. This project examined the impact of AGEs in altering the morphology of healthy cells that comprise the iBRB, as well as the effects of AGEs on thrombi formation, in vitro. Our results illustrate that AGEs significantly alter cellular areas and increase the formation of blood clots via elevated levels of tissue factor. Likewise, AGEs upregulate the expression of cell receptors (RAGE) on both endothelial and glial cells, a hallmark biomarker of inflammation in diabetic cells. Examining the effects of AGEs stimulation on cellular functions that work to diminish iBRB integrity will greatly help to advance therapies that target vision loss in adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioengineering and the Eye, Volume II)
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13 pages, 5886 KiB  
Article
Electrospun Nanofiber Membrane for Cultured Corneal Endothelial Cell Transplantation
by Euisun Song, Karen M. Chen, Mathew S. Margolis, Thitima Wungcharoen, Won-Gun Koh and David Myung
Bioengineering 2024, 11(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering11010054 - 05 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1160
Abstract
The corneal endothelium, comprising densely packed corneal endothelial cells (CECs) adhering to Descemet’s membrane (DM), plays a critical role in maintaining corneal transparency by regulating water and ion movement. CECs have limited regenerative capacity within the body, and globally, there is a shortage [...] Read more.
The corneal endothelium, comprising densely packed corneal endothelial cells (CECs) adhering to Descemet’s membrane (DM), plays a critical role in maintaining corneal transparency by regulating water and ion movement. CECs have limited regenerative capacity within the body, and globally, there is a shortage of donor corneas to replace damaged corneal endothelia. The development of a carrier for cultured CECs may address this worldwide clinical need. In this study we successfully manufactured a gelatin nanofiber membrane (gelNF membrane) using electrospinning, followed by crosslinking with glutaraldehyde (GA). The fabricated gelNF membrane exhibited approximately 80% transparency compared with glass and maintained a thickness of 20 µm. The gelNF membrane demonstrated desirable permeability and degradability for a Descemet’s membrane analog. Importantly, CECs cultured on the gelNF membrane at high densities showed no cytotoxic effects, and the expression of key CEC functional biomarkers was verified. To assess the potential of this gelNF membrane as a carrier for cultured CEC transplantation, we used it to conduct Descemet’s membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) on rabbit eyes. The outcomes suggest this gelNF membrane holds promise as a suitable carrier for cultured CEC transplantation, offering advantages in terms of transparency, permeability, and sufficient mechanical properties required for successful transplantation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioengineering and the Eye, Volume II)
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12 pages, 5011 KiB  
Article
Biocompatibility and Transplantation Efficacy of the C-Clear Artificial Cornea in a Rabbit Chemical Burn Model
by Ho-Seok Chung, Sanghyu Nam, Ko-Eun Lee, Do-Sun Jeong, Seheon Oh, Jeong-Hye Sunwoo, Hun Lee, Jae-Yong Kim and Hungwon Tchah
Bioengineering 2023, 10(10), 1235; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10101235 - 21 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1187
Abstract
We investigated the bioavailability and stability of a C-Clear artificial cornea in a rabbit chemical burn model. Thirty-six rabbits were divided into a control group (n = 16) and a chemical burn group that used NaOH solution (n = 20). After [...] Read more.
We investigated the bioavailability and stability of a C-Clear artificial cornea in a rabbit chemical burn model. Thirty-six rabbits were divided into a control group (n = 16) and a chemical burn group that used NaOH solution (n = 20). After lamellar dissection, the central posterior lamella was excised using a 3 mm diameter trephine, and an artificial cornea was transplanted into the lamellar pocket. After 2 weeks, the central anterior lamella was excised using a 3 mm diameter trephine to secure a clean visual axis. We examined the anterior segment of the eyes weekly for 12 weeks after transplantation. Successful subjects whose artificial corneas were maintained stably for 12 weeks were euthanized and underwent histologic examinations. Artificial corneas remained stable for up to 12 weeks in 62.5 and 50% of rabbits in the control and chemical burn groups, respectively. Two rabbits in the chemical burn group showed the formation of a retroprosthetic membrane, and one rabbit with visual axis blockage underwent membrane removal using a Nd:YAG laser. In histologic examinations, adhesion between artificial cornea and peripheral corneal stoma was observed. In conclusion, we confirmed structural stability and biocompatibility of the C-Clear artificial cornea for up to 12 weeks after implantation in control and chemical burn groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioengineering and the Eye, Volume II)
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Review

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41 pages, 1213 KiB  
Review
Seeing the Future: A Review of Ocular Therapy
by Maiya Whalen, Monica Akula, Shannon M. McNamee, Margaret M. DeAngelis and Neena B. Haider
Bioengineering 2024, 11(2), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering11020179 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1386
Abstract
Ocular diseases present a unique challenge and opportunity for therapeutic development. The eye has distinct advantages as a therapy target given its accessibility, compartmentalization, immune privilege, and size. Various methodologies for therapeutic delivery in ocular diseases are under investigation that impact long-term efficacy, [...] Read more.
Ocular diseases present a unique challenge and opportunity for therapeutic development. The eye has distinct advantages as a therapy target given its accessibility, compartmentalization, immune privilege, and size. Various methodologies for therapeutic delivery in ocular diseases are under investigation that impact long-term efficacy, toxicity, invasiveness, and delivery range. While gene, cell, and antibody therapy and nanoparticle delivery directly treat regions that have been damaged by disease, they can be limited in the duration of the therapeutic delivery and have a focal effect. In contrast, contact lenses and ocular implants can more effectively achieve sustained and widespread delivery of therapies; however, they can increase dilution of therapeutics, which may result in reduced effectiveness. Current therapies either offer a sustained release or a broad therapeutic effect, and future directions should aim toward achieving both. This review discusses current ocular therapy delivery systems and their applications, mechanisms for delivering therapeutic products to ocular tissues, advantages and challenges associated with each delivery system, current approved therapies, and clinical trials. Future directions for the improvement in existing ocular therapies include combination therapies, such as combined cell and gene therapies, as well as AI-driven devices, such as cortical implants that directly transmit visual information to the cortex. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioengineering and the Eye, Volume II)
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14 pages, 1188 KiB  
Review
Quercetin and Related Analogs as Therapeutics to Promote Tissue Repair
by Tina B. McKay, Kyle A. Emmitte, Carrie German and Dimitrios Karamichos
Bioengineering 2023, 10(10), 1127; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10101127 - 25 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1043
Abstract
Quercetin is a polyphenol of the flavonoid class of secondary metabolites that is widely distributed in the plant kingdom. Quercetin has been found to exhibit potent bioactivity in the areas of wound healing, neuroprotection, and anti-aging research. Naturally found in highly glycosylated forms, [...] Read more.
Quercetin is a polyphenol of the flavonoid class of secondary metabolites that is widely distributed in the plant kingdom. Quercetin has been found to exhibit potent bioactivity in the areas of wound healing, neuroprotection, and anti-aging research. Naturally found in highly glycosylated forms, aglycone quercetin has low solubility in aqueous environments, which has heavily limited its clinical applications. To improve the stability and bioavailability of quercetin, efforts have been made to chemically modify quercetin and related flavonoids so as to improve aqueous solubility while retaining bioactivity. In this review, we provide an updated overview of the biological properties of quercetin and proposed mechanisms of actions in the context of wound healing and aging. We also provide a description of recent developments in synthetic approaches to improve the solubility and stability of quercetin and related analogs for therapeutic applications. Further research in these areas is expected to enable translational applications to improve ocular wound healing and tissue repair. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioengineering and the Eye, Volume II)
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