LIMBAL TISSUE BASED
NCRM has made it possible to culture the human limbal stem cells without using any biological materials either as nutrient feeder layer or as substrate, thus avoiding any human or animal protein in the tissue culture.
NCRM also evaluated the efficacy of autologous expanded corneal epithelial cell transplants derived from harvested Limbal biopsy cultured on a Mebiol Gel for the management of unilateral Limbal Stem Cell deficiency (LSCD). Corneal Limbal biopsies from 12 rabbits were cultured on a Mebiol Gel. Cells harvested after three weeks were transplanted to induced Limbal stem cell deficient rabbit eyes. Reparative surgery was a total success in seven rabbits, partial success in two and failure in three eyes. Histology of the seven successful rabbits’ eyes showed successful growth of corneal epithelium. Immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR showed the corneal phenotype and stem cell associated markers in the Limbus of the seven successful eyes, which indicates the homing of the cultured cells into the Limbus suggesting that the transplantation of autologous Limbal epithelial cells grown in Nano Polymer may restore a nearly normal ocular epithelial surface in eyes with unilateral LSCD.
With these developments we hope in the near future, repairing the corneal epithelial damages of any patient using his/her own health limbal stem cells, by culturing the same without amniotic membrane or feeder layers in the laboratory and applying them on the damaged portion of the eye will be possible.
The treatment of corneal epithelial diseases using in vitro expanded autologous limbal stem cells taken from the opposite-normal eye of the patient in unilateral limbal diseases will be one of the important works of the CESBANK