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A novel biosynthetic tissue substitute for transplantation

66 months
Approved budget:
Professor Dipika Patel
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Clinical Practitioner Research Fellowship
Lay summary
I am an eye surgeon and clinician-scientist with research interests in aspects of corneal disease. My career objective is to pursue a long-term career in academic ophthalmology as a clinician-scientist in New Zealand, with an emphasis on translational research. Globally, millions are blind due to corneal disease yet tissue for transplantation is an extremely limited resource. We have recently developed a novel scaffold that has potential to be developed into a clinically viable corneal tissue substitute for human transplantation. The goal of this project is to demonstrate its potential for clinical applications. Optimum techniques for populating the scaffold with cells will be investigated, and the phenotype and function of cells analysed. The cellularised constructs will then be tested by transplantation into in vivo models. As well as the potential to create corneal tissue for transplantation, this project may lead to novel therapeutic options for treating other corneal diseases.