Here we present a miniaturized analog of a blinking human eye to reverse engineer the complexity of the interface between the ocular system and the external environment. Our model comprises human cells and provides unique capabilities to replicate multiscale structural organization, biological phenotypes and dynamically regulated environmental homeostasis of the human ocular surface. Using this biomimetic system, we discovered new biological effects of blink-induced mechanical forces. Furthermore, we developed a specialized in vitro model of evaporative dry-eye disease for high-content drug screening. This work advances our ability to emulate how human physiological systems interface with the external world, and may contribute to the future development of novel screening platforms for biopharmaceutical and environmental applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology