Clinical and pre-clinical studies on cornea regeneration: Aim of this WG is to evaluate the response of animal corneas to the bio cornea with special emphasis on the effects on hemangiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. Both in low-risk as well as in high-risk eyes the potential pro- or antilymphangiogenic effect of the bio cornea will be examined. Collaboration between mainly clinical researchers and basic laboratories from different partners is essential for eventual clinical implementation of the bio cornea as well as for talent development of younger researchers in this field.
• Define the effect the bio cornea has on the naïve murine and rabbit cornea in terms of inducing novel pathologic corneal blood and lymphatic vessels from the limbal vascular arcade in preoperatively avascular recipient corneas.
• In vivo testing of biocompatibility and bio-integration of the bio cornea scaffold and improving surgical techniques in a large animal model.
Research tasks to achieve these objectives are:
• Task 5.1: Time-course studies of the potential hem- and lymphangiogenic effect of implanting a biocornea in murine and rabbit corneal transplant models on the avascular recipient cornea.
• Task 5.2: Time course studies of the potential angioregressive effect of the biocornea on pre-existing pathologic corneal blood and lymphatic vessels which have been induced before by corneal suture placement in the murine model of suture-induced corneal neovascularization.
• Task 5.3: Ultrastructural and immunohistochemical studies on the potential invasion pattern of both vessels types into the cornea and on the persistence of vessels having invaded the implant.
• Task: 5.4: Testing the bio cornea in a large animal experimental model. After practicing in vitro on enucleated pig eyes, bio cornea specimens will be implanted in an intrastromal pocket.