The only cultured cell types extensively used for tissue regeneration are the keratinocyte and the chondrocyte. Cultured autologous keratinocytes derived from the epidermis have been used for many years to produce grafts that regenerate an epidermis over a full-thickness wound, such as a third-degree burn. But there have been many failures of engraftment, and in the absence of criteria for the quality of the cultures, the causes of failure cannot be analyzed. It has become clear that the essential feature of the graft is the presence of an adequate number of stem cells. This article describes the criteria for estimating that number. Advances in graft preparation, combining better preservation of stem cells with ease of application of the graft, are also described. These improvements have been applied to cultures of ocular limbal cells, which contain the keratinocyte stem cells of the corneal epithelium. Cultures meeting the criteria of stem cell number have been grafted to 116 patients suffering from chemical destruction of the limbus. The procedure has been highly successful in the alleviation of suffering and the restoration of vision.
Regeneration of squamous epithelia from stem cells of cultured grafts / DE LUCA, Michele; Pellegrini, Graziella; Green, H.. - In: REGENERATIVE MEDICINE. - ISSN 1746-0751. - STAMPA. - 1:1(2006), pp. 45-57. [10.2217/174607126.96.36.199]