Back to Our Recipients

Erik Suuronen

University of Ottawa, Canada

Sponsor: May Griffith

"Development of an Innervated Functional Human Corneal Equivalent for In Vitro Testing."

We recently developed a human corneal equivalent using tissue engineering methods and human corneal cell lines as a possible replacement for animal ocular toxicity testing. Although the corneal equivalent gives quantifiable changes in transparency in response to different chemicals that indicate different degrees of cellular damage, it cannot provide indications of sensitivity and pain. Our goal, therefore, is to develop a more complete, fully innervated corneal model that can also predict of responses for stimuli such as pain. This could, in the future, provide a superior alternative to the use of animals in testing ocular irritancy and chemical toxicity.