Keratoconus (KC) is a bilateral, asymmetric, corneal disorder that is characterized by progressive thinning, steepening, and potential scarring. The prevalence of KC is stated to be 1 in 2000 persons worldwide; however, numbers vary depending on size of the study and regions. KC appears more often in South Asian, Eastern Mediterranean, and North African populations. The cause remains unknown, although a variety of factors have been considered. Genetics, cellular, and mechanical changes have all been reported; however, most of these studies have proven inconclusive. Clearly, the major problem here, like with any other ocular disease, is quality of life and the threat of vision loss. While most KC cases progress until the third or fourth decade, it varies between individuals. Patients may experience periods of several months with significant changes followed by months or years of no change, followed by another period of rapid changes. Despite the major advancements, it is still uncertain how to treat KC at early stages and prevent vision impairment. There are currently limited tissue engineering techniques and/or "smart" biomaterials that can help arrest the progression of KC. This review will focus on current treatments and how biomaterials may hold promise for the future.
Journal review article
Journal of Functional Biomaterials, 2014, Vol 5, Issue 3, p. 111-34