The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Tissue engineering & lacrimal gland reconstruction

Wow. This is definitely a research group the chronic MGD crowd need to keep an eye on. And in London, of all the unlikely places to generate serious dry eye research.

Very interesting.

Generation of Two- and Three-Dimensional Lacrimal Gland Constructs.
Dev Ophthalmol. 2010;45:49-56. Epub 2010 May 18.
Schrader S, Liu L, Kasper K, Geerling G.
Cells for Sight Transplantation and Research Programme, Ocular Biology and Therapeutics, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London, UK.

Aqueous tear deficiency due to lacrimal gland insufficiency is one of the major causes of dry eye. In severe cases, such as Sjoegren's syndrome, Stevens-Johnson syndrome or ocular cicatricial pemphigoid, therapy with artificial tears can be insufficient to relieve severe discomfort. Engineering a lacrimal gland construct may offer a suitable alternative transplant with a tear-like secretion. However, the reconstruction of a complex structure such as the lacrimal gland is challenging, and a lacrimal gland substitute must meet several criteria. It has to contain enough functional lacrimal gland cells to produce an adequate amount of tear fluid, and a suitable matrix is needed to deliver the cells to the patient. The growing field of regenerative medicine offers promising new prospects for lacrimal gland reconstruction. This article summarizes our group's current work in developing models for lacrimal gland reconstruction, and also discusses the perspectives of a tissue-engineered lacrimal gland for future applications. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.
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