Newcastle University: Cultivating 4D tissues – the first self-curving cornea

Scientists have developed a biological system which lets cells form a desired shape by moulding their surrounding material – initially creating the world’s first self-curving cornea.

The cornea is the clear outer layer at the front of the eye ball.

In the research, a flat circle of gel containing corneal stromal cells (stem cells) was activated with a serum so that the edges of the gel contracted at a different rate to the centre, drawing up the edge over the course of 5 days to form a bowl-like curved cornea.

This time-lapsed video shows this astonishing process.

The research is published in Advanced Functional Materials and was led by Professor Che Connon, professor of tissue engineering, Newcastle University. He says: “Currently there is a shortage of donated corneas which has worsened in recent years, as they cannot be used from anyone who has had laser eye surgery so we need to explore alternatives such as these self-curving corneas.

“The cells are triggered into forming a complex 3D structure, but as this requires time to occur, the fourth dimension in this equation, we have labelled them 4D structures.”

The 4D formation is achieved by the innovative use of cells as biological actuators, components which get the parts moving. In this case, the cells themselves force the surrounding tissue to move in a pre-determined manner over time.

Full press release 

 

Leave a
comment

Read more posts

Five new appointments for North…

06.07.2022

North East tech firm Excelpoint has enjoyed a positive first-quarter performance with increased sales and recognition in the FSB, North East Business, and Aycliffe Business Park awards. It has continued…

Read more

New study to tackle barriers…

05.07.2022

“Action is needed urgently to ensure everyone can benefit from early diagnosis of prostate cancer”   Researchers are working with members of the Black community to develop and run workshops…

Read more

CLOUD EXPERTS HTG ON EXPANSION…

05.07.2022

SECURE cloud expert Howell Technology Group (HTG) is on the expansion trail, doubling the size of its premises in a move that will allow it to create at least 20…

Read more

Catch the latest @north_biz In Conversation with Andrew Doubtwaite, CTO @virtualarmour. Find out about emerging threats and any differences between the states and Europe. youtu.be/ou9NpSpJ1xo

Join our
mailing list