Product Concept and Features
The corneal epithelium has an area called the corneal limbus (border between the cornea and the sclera), which has stem cells* responsible for metabolism. If these stem cells are depleted as a result of autoimmune diseases, burns or other causes, the corneal epithelium on the ocular surface will no longer regenerate easily. The defective epithelial area and eventually the entire surface will gradually be covered with conjunctival and vascular tissue, leading to visual disturbance and other disorders. These disorders are collectively known as limbal stem cell deficiency
Epithelial cell sheets for corneal regeneration are under R&D as a regenerative medicine product for the treatment of limbal stem cell deficiency. The cell sheet is made of patient-derived oral mucosal epithelial cells that are cultured on a temperature-responsive culture surface. The cell sheet is then transplanted onto the defective area of the patient's cornea.
* Stem cells: Master cells with the potential to differentiate into a variety of cells and the ability to differentiate even after undergoing cell division.