This study defines that The cornea is a valuable tissue for studying peripheral sensory nerve structure and regeneration due to its avascularity, transparency, and dense innervation. Somatosensory innervation of the cornea serves to identify changes in environmental stimuli at the ocular surface, thereby promoting barrier function to protect the eye against injury or infection. Due to regulatory demands to screen ocular safety of potential chemical exposure, a need remains to develop functional human tissue models to predict ocular damage and pain using in vitro-based systems to increase throughput and minimize animal use. In this review, we summarize the anatomical and functional roles of corneal innervation in propagation of sensory input, corneal neuropathies associated with pain, and the status of current in vivo and in vitro models. Emphasis is placed on tissue engineering approaches to study the human corneal pain response in vitro with integration of proper cell types, controlled microenvironment, and high-throughput readouts to predict pain induction. Further developments in this field will aid in defining molecular signatures to distinguish acute and chronic pain triggers based on the immune response and epithelial, stromal, and neuronal interactions.


Reference link-