A dual-layer silk fibroin scaffold for reconstructing the human corneal limbus

Bray, Laura J., George, Karina A., Hutmacher, Dietmar W., Chirila, Traian V., & Harkin, Damien G. (2012) A dual-layer silk fibroin scaffold for reconstructing the human corneal limbus. Biomaterials, 33(13), pp. 3529-3538.

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Membranes prepared from Bombyx mori silk fibroin have shown potential as a substrate for human limbal epithelial (L-EC) and stromal cell cultivation. Here we present fibroin as a dual-layer construct containing both an epithelium and underlying stroma for corneolimbal reconstruction. We have compared the growth and phenotype of L-EC on non-porous versus porous fibroin membranes. Furthermore, we have compared the growth of limbal mesenchymal stromal cells (L-MSC) in either serum-supplemented medium or the MesenCult-XF® culture system within fibroin fibrous mats. The co-culture of L-EC and L-MSC in fibroin dual-layer constructs was also examined. L-EC on porous membranes displayed a squamous monolayer; in contrast, L-EC on non-porous fibroin appeared cuboidal and stratified. Both constructs maintained evidence of corneal phenotype (cytokeratin 3/12) and distribution of ΔNp63+ progenitor cells. L-MSC cultivated within fibroin fibrous mats in serum-supplemented medium contained less than 64% of cells expressing the characteristic MSC phenotype of CD73+CD90+CD105+ after two weeks, compared with over 81% in MesenCult-XF® medium. Dual-layer fibroin scaffolds consisting of L-EC and L-MSC maintained a similar phenotype as on the separate layers. These results support the feasibility of a 3D engineered limbus constructed from B. mori silk fibroin, and warrant further studies into the potential benefits it offers to corneolimbal tissue regeneration.

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ID Code: 49136
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Silk fibroin; Cornea; Limbus; Epithelium; Mesenchymal stromal cells
DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.01.045
ISSN: 0142-9612
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 14 Mar 2012 21:45
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2012 21:45

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