J Tissue Eng. 2023 Sep 15;14:20417314231197793. doi: 10.1177/20417314231197793. PMID: 37719307; PMCID: PMC10504850.
Authors: Balters L, Reichl S.
The cornea is the outermost layer of the eye and serves to protect the eye and enable vision by refracting light. The need for cornea organ donors remains high, and the demand for an artificial alternative continues to grow. 3D bioprinting is a promising new method to create artificial organs and tissues. 3D bioprinting offers the precise spatial arrangement of biomaterials and cells to create 3D constructs. As the cornea is an avascular tissue which makes it more attractive for 3D bioprinting, it could be one of the first tissues to be made fully functional via 3D bioprinting. This review discusses the most common 3D bioprinting technologies and biomaterials used for 3D bioprinting corneal models. Additionally, the current state of 3D bioprinted corneal models, especially specific characteristics such as light transmission, biomechanics, and marker expression, and in vivo studies are discussed. Finally, the current challenges and future prospects are presented.
Keywords: 3D bioprinting; cornea; eye; regenerative medicine; tissue engineering.