Three-Dimensional Culture of Functional Adult Rabbit Lacrimal Gland Epithelial Cells on Decellularized Scaffold

Hui Lin, Guoying Sun, Hong He, Benjamin Botsford, Mackenzie Li, Jennifer H. Elisseeff, Samuel C. Yiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Aqueous tear-deficient dry eye disease is a multifactorial chronic disorder, in which the lacrimal gland fails to produce enough tears to maintain a healthy ocular surface. Some severe cases may develop corneal damage and significant vision loss. Treatment primarily involves palliation using ocular surface lubricants, but can only provide temporary relief. Construction of a bioengineered lacrimal gland having functional secretory epithelial cells is a potentially promising option for providing long-term relief to severe dry eye patients. Using sphere-forming culture techniques, we cultured adult rabbit lacrimal gland progenitor cells and prepared a lacrimal gland scaffold by decellularization. When progenitor cells were seeded onto the decellularized scaffold, they formed duct-and acinar-like structures in the three-dimensional culture system. Lacrimal gland epithelial cells showed good cell viability, cell differentiation, and secretory function in decellularized lacrimal gland matrix, as indicated by morphology, immunostaining, and β-hexosaminidase secretion assay. This study demonstrated the potential suitability of utilizing tissue-specific progenitor cells and a tissue-derived bioscaffold for lacrimal gland restoration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-74
Number of pages10
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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