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G. Thumann, F. Schaefer, I. Theofylaktopoulos, B. Kirchhof; Transplantation to the Subretinal Space of Pigment Epithelial Cells Cultured on Ultrathin Collagen Sheets . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):491.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: The transplantation of pigment epithelial cells as a therapeutic modality for retinal degeneration requires that the transplanted PE cells form a monolayer in the subretinal space that will cover the exposed photoreceptor outer segments. To cover the exposed photoreceptors outer segments, transplantation of a pigment eipthelial cell monolayer would be ideal. Methods: Since transplantation of a cell monolayer to the subretinal space is technically challenging, we devised techniques to culture cells on ultrathin collagen membranes and designed an instrument for the transplantation of these ultrathin sheets to the subretinal space. The instrument was tested in situ in enucleated porcine eyes as well as in vivo in rabbits. Results: The ultrathin sheet can be easily manipulated without mechanical stress to the cell surface, maintaining the correct orientation and maintaining cell viablity. Conclusions: We have successfully cultured IPE and RPE cells on ultrathin sheets of collagen type I, developed the instrumentation to transplant these ultrathin cell sheets, and shown the feasibility of transplanting these cell sheets to the subretinal space of enucleated porcine eyes and to the subretinal space of rabbits.
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