A Human Blinking ‘eye-on-a-chip’

Abstract

This paper describes a human blinking eye-on-a-chip microdevice that reconstitutes the ocular surface in the human eye. To recapitulate the structural complexity of the ocular surface, we micro-patterned human cells derived from the cornea and conjunctiva on dome-shaped three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds in in vivo-like spatial arrangements. Moreover, this system was integrated with electromechanically actuated biomimetic eyelids created by 3D printing to simulate spontaneous eye blinking. Our eye-on-a-chip approach holds great potential to address critical limitations of existing eye models and may serve as an innovative platform to emulate human-relevant ocular physiology and pathology for biomedical, pharmaceutical, and environmental applications.

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