Amniotic membrane properties and current practice of amniotic membrane use in ophthalmology in Slovenia
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- Cirman, T., Beltram, M., Schollmayer, P. et al. Cell Tissue Bank (2014) 15: 177. doi:10.1007/s10561-013-9417-6
Amniotic membrane (AM) is the innermost, multilayered part of the placenta. When harvested, processed and stored properly, its properties, stemming from AM biological composition, make it a useful tissue for ophthalmic surgery. AM was shown to have several beneficial effects: it promotes epithelization, has antimicrobial effects, decreases inflammation, fibrosis and neovascularization. Many case reports and case series as well as practical experience (e.g. reconstruction of conjunctival and corneal defects, treatment of corneal ulcers) demonstrated the beneficial effect of AM for different ophthalmological indications. The combination of the above mentioned beneficial effects and reasonable mechanical properties are also the reason why AM is used as a substrate for ex vivo expansion of epithelial progenitor cells. Recently, amnion-derived cells, which also have stem cell characteristics, have been proposed as potential contributors to cell-based treatment of ocular surface disease. However, the use of AM remains one of the least standardized methods in ophthalmic surgery. In this review, the various properties of AM and its current clinical use in ophthalmology in Slovenia are discussed.