Date: 04 May 2013

Effect of cord blood serum on ex vivo human limbal epithelial cell culture

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Limbal cell transplantation is an efficacious procedure for rehabilitation of visual acuity in patients with severe ocular surface disorders. Cultivation of limbal epithelial stem cell with fetal bovine serum for transplantation has been a promising treatment for reconstructing the ocular surface in severe limbal stem cell deficiency caused by Steven Johnson syndrome, chemical or thermal injury. This technique of “cell therapy” has been accepted worldwide but the cost of cultivating the cells for transplantation is high. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of cord blood serum in place of fetal bovine serum on the growth of human limbal epithelial cell culture. Our group has experimented with human cord blood serum which was obtained free of cost from willing donors. The use of human cord blood serum in place of fetal bovine serum for ex vivo culture of limbal stem cell has helped us in reducing the cost of culture. Fresh human limbal tissues from donor cadavers were cultured on intact and denuded amniotic membrane. Cells were proliferated in vitro with cell culture media containing human cord blood serum. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and immunofluorescence cytochemistry of cultured human limbal epithelial stem cell was done for characterization of the cells.