Ocular Surface Repair Using Decellularized Porcine Conjunctiva
43 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2019 Publication Status: Accepted
The primary functions of the conjunctiva embody ocular surface protection and the maintenance of the tear film equilibrium. Severe conjunctival defects such as symblepharon may impair the integrity of ocular surface and cause loss of visual functions. Here we report the use of a decellularized porcine conjunctiva (DPC) for conjunctival reconstruction in rabbit models and in clinic. Our results show that the major xenoantigens are efficiently removed, while abundant matrix components and integrated microstructures are well preserved in the DPC. These characteristics provide mechanical support and favorable histocompatibility for repairing damaged conjunctiva. The DPC application has demonstrated enhanced transplant stability and improved epithelial regeneration in sever ocular surface damage comparing to those of amniotic membrane (AM), the most frequently applied matrix for ocular surface reconstruction nowadays. In order to test the DPC performance in clinic, three patients with pterygium and one patient with symblepharon underwent transplant with DPC. The grafts in all cases were completely re-epithelized and no graft melt or fibroplasia were observed. These results suggest that the strategy we developed is feasible and effective for conjunctival reconstruction and ocular surface repair.
Keywords: Decellularization, conjunctiva, symblepharon, conjunctival reconstruction, ocular surface repair
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