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13 years of cultured limbal epithelial cell therapy: A review of the outcomes

Authors

  • Oliver Baylis,

    1. Institute of Human Genetics, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    2. North East England Stem Cell Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    3. Department of Ophthalmology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
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  • Francisco Figueiredo,

    1. Institute of Human Genetics, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    2. North East England Stem Cell Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    3. Department of Ophthalmology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
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  • Christin Henein,

    1. Institute of Human Genetics, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    2. North East England Stem Cell Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
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  • Majlinda Lako,

    1. Institute of Human Genetics, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    2. North East England Stem Cell Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
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  • Sajjad Ahmad

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Human Genetics, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    2. North East England Stem Cell Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    3. Department of Ophthalmology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    • Institute of Human Genetics, Newcastle University, Central Parkway, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3BZ, UK.
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Abstract

The cornea is the clear tissue at the front of the eye which enables the transmission of light to the retina for normal vision. The surface of the cornea is composed of an epithelium which is renewed by stem cells located at the periphery of the cornea, a region known as the limbus. These limbal stem cells can become deficient as a result of various diseases of the eye's surface, resulting in the blinding disease of limbal stem cell deficiency. The treatment of this disease is often difficult and complex. In 1997, it was proposed that a small amount of limbal tissue containing limbal stem cells could be culture expanded and then transplanted. Since then various case reports and case series have been reported showing promising results. Here, we review the outcomes of this procedure over the past 13 years with the aim of highlighting the best culture and surgical techniques to date. J. Cell. Biochem. 112: 993–1002, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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