Publication Date



Science Advances


To treat unilateral limbal stem cell (LSC) deficiency, we developed cultivated autologous limbal epithelial cells (CALEC) using an innovative xenobiotic-free, serum-free, antibiotic-free, two-step manufacturing process for LSC isolation and expansion onto human amniotic membrane with rigorous quality control in a good manufacturing practices facility. Limbal biopsies were used to generate CALEC constructs, and final grafts were evaluated by noninvasive scanning microscopy and tested for viability and sterility. Cultivated cells maintained epithelial cell phenotype with colony-forming and proliferative capacities. Analysis of LSC biomarkers showed preservation of "stemness." After preclinical development, a phase 1 clinical trial enrolled five patients with unilateral LSC deficiency. Four of these patients received CALEC transplants, establishing preliminary feasibility. Clinical case histories are reported, with no primary safety events. On the basis of these results, a second recruitment phase of the trial was opened to provide longer term safety and efficacy data on more patients.


Humans, Feasibility Studies, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Biopsy, Commerce, Epithelial Cells, Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency


PMID: 37595035



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.