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J Biomater Sci Polym Ed. 2024 Jan 12:1-39. doi: 10.1080/09205063.2024.2301817. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38214998.

Biofabrication paradigms in corneal regeneration: bridging bioprinting techniques, natural bioinks, and stem cell therapeutics

Authors: Pankaj Pal 1Sharda Sambhakar 1Shailendra Paliwal 2Shobhit Kumar 3Vandna Kalsi 4


  1. Department of Pharmacy, Banasthali Vidyapith, Radha Kishnpura, Rajasthan, India.
  2. Department of Pharmacy, L.L.R.M Medical College, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India.
  3. Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Meerut Institute of Engineering and Technology, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India.
  4. School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, Punjab, India.


Corneal diseases are a major cause of vision loss worldwide. Traditional methods like corneal transplants from donors are effective but face challenges like limited donor availability and the risk of graft rejection. Therefore, new treatment methods are essential. This review examines the growing field of bioprinting and biofabrication in corneal tissue engineering. We begin by discussing various bioprinting methods such as stereolithography, inkjet, and extrusion printing, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses for eye-related uses. We also explore how biological tissues are made suitable for bioprinting through a process called decellularization, which can be achieved using chemical, physical, or biological methods. The review then looks at natural materials, known as bioinks, used in bioprinting. We focus on materials like gelatin, collagen, fibrin, chitin, chitosan, silk fibroin, and alginate, examining their mechanical and biological properties. The importance of hydrogel scaffolds, particularly those based on collagen and other materials, is also discussed in the context of repairing corneal tissue. Another key area we cover is the use of stem cells in corneal regeneration. We pay special attention to limbal epithelial stem cells and mesenchymal stromal cells, highlighting their roles in this process. The review concludes with an overview of the latest advancements in corneal tissue bioprinting, from early techniques to advanced methods of delivering stem cells using bioengineered materials. In summary, this review presents the current state and future potential of bioprinting and biofabrication in creating functional corneal tissues, highlighting new developments and ongoing challenges with a view towards restoring vision.

Keywords: Corneal tissue engineering; bio-fabrication; bioprinting; hydrogel scaffolds; stem cell therapeutics.