2012 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 75-80
The tissue- engineered corneal epithelium can be constructed with cultured limbal stem cells from the cornea of healthy rabbits cornea cultured in vitro, and its transplantation may promote the repair and healing of corneal alkaline burn. The aim of this study was to probe the effect and opportunity of treating corneal alkali burn with a tissue-engineered corneal epithelium transplantation. The tissue-engineered corneal epithelium was prepared in 37 rabbits with limbal stem cells cultured in vitro, for transplantation in a double eye corneal alkali burn model. Autologous or allogenic transplantation was performed at early time points (1, 3, 6, 9 days) or metaphase (14 days) following alkaline burning. 1 week following the burn, large corneal epithelial desquamation occurred, with 72% of the rabbits having epithelial desquamations or corneal ulcers at 2 weeks, continuing to 4 weeks post burn. Only 25% of the rabbits in the transplantation group had these effects 4 weeks post-treatment. Cell infiltration and vascularization of corneal stroma was observed in the metaphase transplantation group, not the early transplantation groups; Within 4 weeks, immunological rejection induced by allogenic transplantation was not greater than that of autologous transplantation. Cultivated autologous or allogenic tissue-engineered corneal epithelium transplantation restored ocular surface integrity, and the effect of early transplantation surpasses that of metaphase.