Properties of the amniotic membrane for potential use in tissue engineering

Niknejad H1, Peirovi H, Jorjani M, Ahmadiani A, Ghanavi J, Seifalian AM


An important component of tissue engineering (TE) is the supporting matrix upon which cells and tissues grow, also known as the scaffold. Scaffolds must easily integrate with host tissue and provide an excellent environment for cell growth and differentiation. 

Most scaffold materials are naturally derived from mammalian tissues. The amniotic membrane (AM) is considered an important potential source for scaffolding material. The AM represents the innermost layer of the placenta and is composed of a single epithelial layer, a thick basement membrane and an avascular stroma. The special structure and biological viability of the AM allows it to be an ideal candidate for creating scaffolds used in TE. Epithelial cells derived from the AM have the advantages of stem cells, yet are a more suitable source of cells for TE than stem cells. The extracellular matrix components of the basement membrane of the AM create an almost native scaffold for cell seeding in TE. In addition, the AM has other biological properties important for TE, including anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fibrosis, anti-scarring, as well as reasonable mechanical property and low immunogenicity. In this review, the various properties of the AM are discussed in light of their potential use for TE.



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