Tissue Engineering of the Cornea

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Tissue engineering of the cornea represents a paradigm shift in medical treatment to overcome the present disadvantages of corneal transplantation, primarily immune rejection and the shortage of donor corneas. Transplantation of cultivated corneal epithelial cells expanded ex vivo from corneal epithelial stem cells has been developed and has already entered the clinical realm. However, there remain many hurdles to be overcome. The author and colleagues are developing a method to transplant cultivated cell sheets that uses a temperature-responsive culture dish. This article reviews the present situation regarding tissue-engineered corneal epithelium and introduces the results of this program of research.

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