Who we are
Corneal blindness is a worldwide problem and can be treated by transplantation of donor human tissue, or by implantation of artificial, non-biological corneas. However, there is a great lack of donors worldwide and current implants are either expensive or do not integrate well. The solution may be found in the development of biodegradable artificial corneas, consisting of bio-matrices seeded with host limbal stem cells. However, current emerging research is in its early stages and fragmented among research institutes throughout Europe.
This COST Action combines scientific, clinical and industrial knowledge in the field of corneal regeneration. This will link researchers in the fields of biomaterial research, stem cell manipulation, tissue engineering, ophthalmology and immunology. This planned collaboration will, not only result in a unique European knowledge base to boost the development of biodegradable artificial corneas from basic research to clinical application, but will also provide the foundation to foster the development of a new generation of cornea specialists that are interested in regenerative medicine, especially in ophthalmology. In regard of the aging population of Europe, such a focus is of great importance to help our increasing population of elderly individuals with corneal disease.