Regenerative Medicine Vol. 16 No. 9 | Review

Challenges in corneal endothelial cell culture


Corneal endothelial cells (CECs) facilitate the function of maintaining the transparency of the cornea. Damage or dysfunction of CECs can lead to blindness, and the primary treatment is corneal transplantation. However, the shortage of cornea donors is a significant problem worldwide. Thus, cultured CEC therapy has been proposed and found to be a promising approach to overcome the lack of tissue supply. Unfortunately, CECs in humans rarely proliferate in vivo and, therefore, can be extremely challenging to culture in vitro. Several promising cell isolation and culture techniques have been proposed. Multiple factors affecting the success of cell expansion including donor characteristics, preservation and isolation methods, plating density, media preparation, transdifferentiation and biomarkers have been evaluated. However, there is no consensus on standard technique for CEC culture. This review aimed to determine the challenges and investigate potential options that would facilitate the standardization of CEC culture for research and therapeutic application.

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