Electro-compacted collagen for corneal epithelial tissue engineering

Publication Name

Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A


Bioengineered corneal substitutes offer a solution to the shortage of donor corneal tissue worldwide. As one of the major structural components of the cornea, collagen has shown great potential for tissue-engineered cornea substitutes. Herein, free-standing collagen membranes fabricated using electro-compaction were assessed in corneal bioengineering application by comparing them with nonelectro-compacted collagen (NECC). The well-organized and biomimetic fibril structure resulted in a significant improvement in mechanical properties. A 10-fold increase in tensile and compressive modulus was recorded when compared with NECC membranes. In addition to comparable transparency in the visible light range, the glucose permeability of the electro-compacted collagen (ECC) membrane is higher than that of the native human cornea. Human corneal epithelial cells adhere and proliferate well on the ECC membrane, with a large cell contact area observed. The as-described ECC has appropriate structural, topographic, mechanical, optical, glucose permeable, and cell support properties to provide a platform for a bioengineered cornea; including the outer corneal epithelium and potentially deeper corneal tissues.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

Australian Research Council



Link to publisher version (DOI)