We examined the feasibility of using gelatin hydrogels as carrier sheets for the transplantation of cultivated corneal endothelial cells. The mechanical properties, transparency, and permeability of gelatin hydrogel sheets were compared with those of atelocollagen sheets. Immunohistochemistry (ZO-1, Na +/K+-ATPase, and N-cadherin), hematoxylin and eosin staining, and scanning electron microscopy were performed to assess the integrity of corneal endothelial cells that were cultured on gelatin hydrogel sheets. The gelatin hydrogel sheets displayed greater transparency, elastic modulus, and albumin permeability compared to those of atelocollagen sheets. The corneal endothelial cells on gelatin hydrogel sheets showed normal expression levels of ZO-1, Na+/K+-ATPase, and N-cadherin. Hematoxylin and eosin staining revealed the formation of a continuous monolayer of cells attached to the gelatin hydrogel sheet. Scanning electron microscopy observations showed that the corneal endothelial cells were arranged in a regular, mosaic, and polygonal pattern with normal cilia. These results indicate that the gelatin hydrogel sheet is a promising material to transport corneal endothelial cells during transplantation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering