The cornea is the most frequently transplanted tissue in the United States. Worldwide, the demand for donor tissue exceeds supply. Manufacture of such tissue would address an important unmet clinical need. To manufacture transplantable corneal tissue, one must understand the design principles underlying cornea anatomy. Human cornea is a pentalaminar structure that includes the epithelium, Bowman layer, stroma, Descemet membrane, and endothelium. Several features give rise to corneal transparency including avascularity, active dehydration, and stromal fine structure. The optical properties of the cornea arise not only from its uniform refractive index but also from its surface curvature.
Zarbin MA. Accelerated In Vitro Degradation of Optically Clear Low–β Sheet Silk Films by Enzyme-Mediated Pretreatment. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2013;131(5):676. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2013.4319
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