|Programm||"Degeneration und Regeneration– Grundlagen, Diagnostik und Therapie"|
Tissue-engineering of Corneal Epithelium. Dream or Reality
Meller D., Steuhl K.-P.
Recent advancements in cell biology have enabled the development of new models of tissue engineering as a tool for tissue replacement. The preservation of the undifferentiated phenotype of stem cells during ex vivo expansion has been considered to be a crucial factor. As a potential biomatrix for corneal epithelial stem cells preserved human amniotic membrane or fibrin have been recently introduced. Experimental data suggest that the phenotype, cell cycle kinetics and distinct physiological features of limbal epithelial progenitor cells are maintained and preserved during ex vivo expansion on amniotic membrane. Promising clinical data has shown favorable outcome in autografts, however, in allogenic ex vivo expanded limbal tissue an elevated failure and/or rejection rate have been reported. The aim of this review is to summarize and discuss recently reported experimental and clinical studies showing new potentials in tissue engineering for the reconstitution of the ocular surface epithelium.