Transplantable Membrane Systems for Use in Ocular Tissue Repair
The present invention is a novel non-immunogenic collagen vitrigel membrane for use in ocular tissue repair. The unique properties of the collagen vitrigel permit it to be transplanted alone or as a supporting film for corneal epithelial, stromal, endothelial, or other ocular surface tissue. The membrane biomaterial increases the ease of implantation. The membrane may be modified with peptides and/or cell extracts in order to further promote cell growth and transplantation efficacy. Furthermore, the vitrigel membrane can also be used for layer by layer reconstruction of all three layers of the cornea: the outer epithelium, the middle stroma, and the inner endothelium. A number of novel cell therapies have been applied to tissue repair in the eye. Stem cells and differentiated cells have been grown in sheets and transplanted in patients to restore function in the cornea epithelium or endothelium. Nevertheless, transplantation of the cells remains a challenge. Amniotic membrane is currently being used to replace diseased or damaged ocular surface tissue, however the amniotic membrane is costly and there is still some concern regarding immunorejection. Description (Set) Proposed Use (Set) This vitrigel may be used as a drug delivery platform in addition to a biomaterial-cell system. Additionally, this material may also be investigated for culture and transplantation of other ocular cell types including retinal pigment epithelial cells.
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