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

Queen of Tech Anne-Marie Imafidon…

21.01.2020

Anne-Marie Imafidon passed two GCSEs at primary school. Aged 11, she became the youngest girl ever to pass A-level Computing. In 2013 she founded and became CEO of Stemettes a…

Read more

Nigel Wright Recruitment contract win…

21.01.2020

The region’s largest multi-discipline recruiter which is also Europe’s number one consumer sector business, will support McBride plc with talent acquisition activities across Europe. McBride is Europe’s leading provider of…

Read more

The Institute of Coding launches…

14.01.2020

Practical Applications of Emerging Technologies run by The Institute of Coding at Newcastle University will showcase some of the latest emerging technologies and their real-world applications in bite sized introductions…

Read more

@jim_mawdsley @GeneratorNE @digiunion Good luck with the next move Jim! Been a pleasure working with you.

Join our
mailing list