Two linked review articles “The conjunctival extracellular matrix, related disorders and development of substrates for conjunctival restoration” and “Biological tissues and components, and synthetic substrates for conjunctival cell transplantation” were published in The Ocular Surface recently. You can access the first paper for free via this link for the next 50 days, and the second one as journal pre-proof here (I’ll update this link when I have the equivalent link).
These two articles started life as the literature review in Aruni Makuloluwa’s PhD thesis*. However, once we started converting that into something that would be valuable to field, we swiftly realised that a really comprehensive review of the state of the art of conjunctival research was overdue.
We wanted to cover everything from core conj structure, the conj ECM/BM composition, conjunctival inherited and acquired disease, bioengineering approaches to replace the conjunctiva and perspectives of what still needs to be done. To be able to do that effectively, we established an international collaboration with experts in each of these areas. We also realised that to be able to cover everything at the depth that would do it justice, we needed two papers! Each paper stands alone but when read together they combine to provide a really useful resource.
I learned a lot being involved in the writing of these papers and interacting with our collaborators. I think what we have produced will be useful for anyone working on the ocular surface, especially those who want to rapidly assimilate the important information about the unique features that need to be considered about the conjunctiva.
Quick shout out to the peer reviewers as well who provided constructive suggestions that further improved the manuscripts.