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Publication Detail
Oral Mucosa Tissue Equivalents for the Treatment of Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency
Cultured limbal and oral epithelial cells have been successfully used to treat patients with limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD). The most common culture method for these cell therapies utilizes amniotic membrane as a cell support and/or murine 3T3s as feeder fibroblasts. The aim of this study is to refine the production of autologous oral mucosal cell therapy for the treatment of LSCD. Real architecture for 3D tissue (RAFT) is used as an alternative cell culture support. In addition, oral mucosal cells (epithelial and fibroblast) are used as autologous alternatives to donor human limbal epithelial cells (HLE) and murine 3T3s. The following tissue equivalents are produced and characterized: first, for patients with bilateral LSCD, an oral mucosa tissue equivalent consisting of human oral mucosal epithelial cells on RAFT supported by human oral mucosal fibroblasts (HOMF). Second, for patients with unilateral LSCD, HLE on RAFT supported by HOMF. For both tissue equivalent types, features of the cornea are observed including a multi-layered epithelium with small cells with a stem cell like phenotype in the basal layer and squamous cells in the top layers, and p63α and PAX6 expression. These tissue equivalents may therefore be useful in the treatment of LSCD.
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