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Andrea Lindenmair

Amnion, the innermost of the fetal membranes, is usually discarded after birth as part of the placenta. Due to its beneficial properties (high availability , easy processing, very thin, flexible, but still strong membrane; pain-reducing, anti-inflammatory, causes little or no rejection reactions, …) it has successfully been used in ophthalmology and wound care for years. Moreover, amnion is composed of two layers, the epithelial and the mesenchymal one, each yielding in high amounts of cells. Both cell types show stem cell characteristics. Being aware of these characteristics amnion is also becoming a very interesting material for other areas such as tissue engineering. We have recognized that amnion already constitutes a preformed cell sheet, which can be differentiated in vitro. Furthermore, co-cultures of amniotic membrane with different cells and human alternatives to fetal bovine serum are within our research focus.