Mechanical Properties of Bioengineered Corneal Stroma

Nello Formisano, Cas van der Putten, Rhiannon Grant, Gozde Sahin, Roman K. Truckenmüller, Carlijn V. C. Bouten, Nicholas A. Kurniawan, Stefan Giselbrecht

Published: 2021


For the majority of patients with severe corneal injury or disease, corneal transplantation is the only suitable treatment option. Unfortunately, the demand for donor corneas greatly exceeds the availability. To overcome shortage issues, a myriad of bioengineered constructs have been developed as mimetics of the corneal stroma over the last few decades. Despite the sheer number of bioengineered stromas developed , these implants fail clinical trials exhibiting poor tissue integration and adverse effects in vivo. Such shortcomings can partially be ascribed to poor biomechanical performance. In this review, existing approaches for bioengineering corneal stromal constructs and their mechanical properties are described. The information collected in this review can be used to critically analyze the biomechanical properties of future stromal constructs, which are often overlooked, but can determine the failure or success of corresponding implants.

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