Master Thesis Project of Soft Tissue Engineering and Mechanobiology

Keratocyte alignment and ECM production under influence of in vivo-like cues

One of the characteristics of the stromal layer is the fact that keratocytes develop and maintain the surrounding collagen lamellae in an orthogonal fashion. Several mechanisms are believed to influence eventual organization of the collagen lamellae, and during this project you will focus on two of them. By means of various read-outs you will investigate the effect of cell migration and cell-cell contact of keratocytes on 2D and 2.5D substrates.

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The cornea is a layered tissue in the anterior part of the eye. One of these layers is called the stroma, responsible for over 90% of the total thickness of the tissue [1]. The stromal layer contains mainly collagen fibers and a mix of proteoglycans and is maintained by cells called keratocytes.

One of the characteristics of the stromal layer is the fact that keratocytes develop and maintain the surrounding collagen lamellae in an orthogonal fashion. Several mechanisms are believed to influence eventual organization of the collagen lamellae, and during this project you will focus on two of them. By means of various read-outs you will investigate the effect of cell migration and cell-cell contact of keratocytes on 2D and 2.5D substrates.

References

[1] Remington, L.A., “Clinical Anatomy and Physiology of the Visual System”, 2012