JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL MATERIALS RESEARCH PART A, cilt.104, ss.2166-2177, 2016 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi)
Deterioration of retina and death of the retinal cells due to age, diabetes, or occlusion can cause retinal degeneration which leads to loss of vision. In this study, it is aimed to design a bilayered matrix to mimic the choroid and the Bruch's membrane of the retinal tissue. As choroid, a microchanneled network resembling a fractal tree design was fabricated by photolithography over photo-cross-linkable methacrylated hyaluronic acid hydrogel. Gelatin or collagen was immobilized into the microchannels to enhance adherence of Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVEC). At late culture periods (2 weeks), formation of tubular structures due to proliferation of the attached cells was observed. As Bruch's membrane, an electrospun fibroin nanofiber mat was produced to grow retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells on. Cellular interactions between RPE and HUVEC in the microchannels were investigated in a coculture model in a noncontact mode. It was deduced that by combining the RPE layer on the highly permeable Bruch's membrane with the choroid layer populated by HUVECs, a retinal substitute which might have a potential for use in the treatment of retinal diseases is possible. (c) 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 104A: 2166-2177, 2016.