Amniotic Membrane Tissue

The Amniotic Membrane (AM) is the inner avascular layer of the foetal membranes of the placenta which surrounds the fetus during pregnancy. Due to its healing properties the AM has been used for nearly a century as a highly effective treatment for non-healing chronic wounds. It is a thick but translucent membrane.

AM may be used for protection and repair of the outer epithelial layer of the cornea. It provides benefit in treating conjunctival and corneal disease. AM promotes healing and causes a rapid pain relief.

Pieces of AM are used to treat non-healing ulcers, which may occur after viral infections (e.g. Herpes infections). Chemical trauma and epithelial defects can be treated with amniotic membrane transplantation. Amniotic membrane is also used during eye surgeries like pterygium excision, melanoma excision, Baerveldt implantations etc. AM resorbs spontaneously after a period of time.


The AM is donated by living donors following elective Caesarean section. Immediately after donation, the amniotic membrane is dissected from the chorion (the other placental membrane) and rinsed to clear of all blood and tissue debris. It is decontaminated by antibiotics and antimycotics, attached to a sterile gauze, cut into different sizes and stored frozen in quarantine, until the donor has been medically released and the microbiological cultures of the tissues are negative. All grafts are packed and stored individually. Various sizes are available, ranging from 1×1 cm to 5×5 cm. In rare cases we can harvest transplants of 6×6 cm depending on the size and curvature of the donated placenta.

AM is stored at -40⁰C in the eye bank but can be shipped at ambient temperature. Upon arrival in the clinic it should be stored in a refrigerator until it is used for transplantation, this should be within eight days after thawing the tissue in the eye bank.

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