The Network of Excellence in Corneal Regeneration

Scaffold Development

This WG will focus on combining the experience available in current and future research projects in order to develop suitable scaffolds for corneal cells to grow, to migrate, and to differentiate properly for cornea regeneration.
The primary research objectives are to exchange information and collaborte:

1. to develop collagen-based biomaterial into biocompatible scaffolds;
2. to optimize properties of the scaffold for corneal cell growth;
3. to approach the best structure of the scaffold for corneal regeneration;
4. to understand the scaffold-corneal interaction.

The experience of different laboratories that work in this field will be discussed to speed up developments and overcome technical problems. Several research tasks are carried out:
• Task 1.1: The native human cornea consists of predominantly collagen fibrils, thus the material of choice to develop an artificial scaffold for cornea regeneration will becollagen which possesses great biocompatibility and suitable biodegradability when implanted to eyes. Fish-scale will be processed to obtain raw collagen materials.
• Task 1.2: Collagen materials derived from fish-scale will be manufactured to be a rigid scaffold. In vitro corneal cell culture will be done on the scaffold to verify the optimal condition for cell growth.
• Task 1.3:Intensive studies which focus on the scaffold properties will be combined, including manipulating the strength, the 3D-structure, porosity, and the transparency of the scaffolds by mechanical, chemical, and physical downstream process.
• Task 1.4: Understanding local cellular interaction between the scaffold and the cornealcells is crucial for evaluating the mechanism of biocompatibility and biodegradability. Cell markers will be used to verify the cells behaviour growing on the scaffold.

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The NExCR is managed by the COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology)
Action BM1302 "Joining Forces in Corneal Regeneration Research" 2014-2017.