Autologous transplantation of retinal pigment epithelium after mechanical debridement of Bruch's membrane

Stephen J. Phillips, Srinivas R. Sadda, Mark O.M. Tso, Mark S. Humayan, Eugene De Juan, Susanne Binder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. To determine whether transplantation of autologous retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) will prevent atrophy of the choriocapillaris and loss of photoreceptors in an area in which the RPE has been mechanically debrided from Bruch's membrane. Methods. Abrasive debridement of RPE was performed with a metal cannula after localized retinal bleb detachments in two separate areas of the rabbit retina. The RPE cell suspension aspirated from one of the debridement sites was transplanted to the other. The debridement-only site served as control. The transplant and control sites were evaluated after 30 days by color fundus photography, fluorescein angiography, light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Results. Compared with debridement only, debridement plus transplantation of RPE resulted in more complete repopulation of the bare Bruch's membrane surface with relative preservation of choriocapillaris and photoreceptors. Conclusion. Autologous transplantation of RPE onto an abrasively debrided Bruch's membrane decreases choriocapillaris atrophy and photoreceptor loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Eye Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003


  • Choriocapillaris
  • Photoreceptor morphology
  • Retinal pigment epithelium
  • Retinal transplantation
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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