Ultrastructural Study of Autologous Cultivated Conjunctival Epithelium

Alfano, Carmine; Chiummariello, Stefano; Fioramonti, Paolo; Innocenzi, Daniele; Scuderi, Nicolo
September 2006
Ophthalmic Surgery, Lasers & Imaging;Sep/Oct2006, Vol. 37 Issue 5, p378
Academic Journal
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: This report is one of the first in the literature on the attempted cultivation and clinical application of human conjunctival epithelium. The authors investigated the possibility of restoring severely damaged ocular surface with autologous cultivated conjunctival epithelium. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The conjunctival cells needed for the experiment were harvested from six patients with oculopalpebral diseases. Confluent epithelial sheets were developed from each biopsy specimen. The new epithelium was then implanted on the patients' or donors' eye surface. RESULTS: The histologic examination showed a pluristratified squamous non-keratinized epithelium lying on a basement membrane and with a lamina propria of well-vascularized connective tissue. Normal ultrastructural characteristics were evident on electron microscopy. CONCLUSION: The cultivation of autologous conjunctival cells may be a good option for rapid and safe repair of large single or bilateral conjunctival defects, as an alternative to heterotopic or allogenic grafts.


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