Amnion Epithelial Cells — a Therapeutic Source

Renate H.M. Schwab, Mihiri Goonetilleke, Dandan Zhu, Gina D. Kusuma, Euan M. Wallace, William Sievert, Rebecca Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


Purpose of Review: In this review, we will explore the clinical and commercial focus on amniotic membranes (AMs) and their use in tissue engineering (TE). We will showcase the therapeutic potential of AM-isolated epithelial cells (hAECs) and the prospective use of their secreted factors, extracellular vesicles (EVs), in cell and non-cell therapies. Recent Findings: The potential of the hAECs as a therapeutic source has been investigated in various preclinical models with some progressing into phase I clinical trials to evaluate their safety. Additionally, multiple animal studies showcase the therapeutic potential of EVs as non-cellular treatments. Summary: The amniotic membrane (AM) has been used as a form of regenerative medicine in wound healing for burns and ulcerated surfaces and in ophthalmology for over a century. In the last few decades, research has looked to the use of the various stem cells that can be isolated from the AM. The use of AM-isolated hAECs has proven rather promising with phase I clinical trials currently underway across life-threatening diseases in both pediatric and adult populations. However, due to limitations of using cell-based therapies (e.g., cost of production, delivery restricted to major hospitals, etc.), attention has turned to investigating EVs secreted by the cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13–29
Number of pages17
JournalCurrent Stem Cell Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Cellular and non-cellular therapy
  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Human amnion epithelial cells
  • Human amniotic membrane
  • Regenerative medicine

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