When the ocular outer surface is badly damaged, subsequent corneal transplantation fails due to the absence of basal cells that are needed to support the graft. With the realization that the limbus and the conjunctiva have adult stem cells that can be cultured, it has been possible for us to explant culture these on de-epithelized human amniotic membrane, and to graft the resulting viable and transparent epithelium to 125 needy human patients with success. Ultrastructural, histological, biochemical and immunological assays establish the identity of the cells and the tissue formed.

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