Glaucoma is the second leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Glaucoma is a progressive optic neuropathy in which permanent loss of peripheral vision results from neurodegeneration in the optic nerve head. The trabecular meshwork is responsible for regulating intraocular pressure, which to date, is the only modifiable risk factor associated with the development of glaucoma.
Lowering intraocular pressure reduces glaucoma progression and current surgical approaches for glaucoma attempt to reduce outflow resistance through the trabecular meshwork. Many surgical approaches use minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries (MIGS) to control glaucoma. In this progress report, biomaterials currently employed to treat glaucoma, such as MIGS, and the issues associated with them are described. The report also discusses innovative biofabrication approaches that aim to revolutionise glaucoma treatment through tissue engineering and regenerative medicine (TERM).
At present, there are very few applications targeted towards TM engineering in vivo, with a great proportion of these biomaterial structures being developed for in vitro model use. This is a consequence of the many anatomical and physiological attributes that must be considered when designing a TERM device for microscopic tissues, such as the trabecular meshwork. Ongoing advancements in TERM research from multi-disciplinary teams should lead to the development of a state-of-the-art device to restore trabecular meshwork function and provide a bio-engineering solution to improve patient outcomes.
Devon J. Crouch, Carl M. Sheridan, Raechelle A. D’Sa, Colin E. Willoughby, Lucy A. Bosworth Biomaterials and Biosystems 2021, 1 100011.Read Article