Per-Olof Berggren, Shao-Nian Yang, Yue Shi

The anterior chamber of the eye technology and its anatomical, optical and immunological bases

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology
  • General Medicine

The anterior chamber of the eye (ACE) is distinct in its anatomy, optics and immunology. This guarantees that the eye perceives visual information in the context of physiology even when encountering adverse incidents like inflammation. In addition, this endows the ACE with the special nursery bed iris enriched in vasculatures and nerves. The ACE constitutes a confined space enclosing an oxygen/nutrient-rich, immune-privileged and less stressful milieu as well as an optically transparent media. Therefore, aside from visual perception, the ACE unexpectedly serves as an excellent transplantation site for different body parts and a unique platform for non-invasive, longitudinal and intravital micro-imaging of different grafts. On the basis of these merits, the ACE technology has evolved from the prototypical through the conventional to the advanced version. Studies using this technology as a versatile biomedical research platform have led to a diverse range of basic knowledge and in-depth understanding of a variety of cells, tissues and organs as well as artificial biomaterials, pharmaceuticals and abiotic substances. Remarkably, the technology turns in vivo dynamic imaging of the morphological characteristics, organotypic features, developmental fates and specific functions of intracameral grafts into reality under physiological and pathological conditions. Here we review the anatomical, optical and immunological bases as well as technical details of the ACE technology. Moreover, we discuss major achievements obtained and potential prospective avenues for this technology.

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