Constructing a One-Piece Integrated Tissue Scaffold for a Biofidelic Eye Model
ARMY AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT RUCKER AL FORT RUCKER United States
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Primary blast injuries PBIs caused by shock waves traveling within the human eye and orbit are not fully understood. Collecting intraocular biomechanical response data from postmortem eyes is challenging, and laboratory animal data are difficult to translate into human outcomes because of anatomical differences. Here, we show a bioengineered, fluid-filled model of the corneoscleral shell of the human eye designed to allow rigorous, highly repeatable studies of both ocular PBI outcomes and the efficacy of blast protection eyewear designs. The model is cast as a one-piece, structurally integrated, alginate-based hydrogel scaffold that has adjustable tensile strength through synthetic or biological hybridization. The model can be pre-stressed to a physiological intraocular pressure, embedded with living cells for investigating trauma pathology, and instrumented with fiber-optic sensors for recording overpressure data during blast testing. Correlating the overpressure at key intraocular locations with the cellular expression of molecular biomarkers for trauma will be helpful in predicting the risk for vision loss. This model has other applications, including the creation of corneal graft tissue and enabling surgical simulations for training.
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medicine and Medical Research