Public Defence: Meeta Pathak

MD Meeta Pathak at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “Ex vivo culture of limbal cells for the treatment of limbal stem cell deficiency” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

Photo: Geir Qvale

Trial Lecture – time and place

See Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Jesper Hjortdal, Department of Ophthalmology, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark
  • Second opponent: Docent Per Montan, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Emeritus Borghild Barth-Heyerdahl Roald, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor Emeritus Odd Geiran, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Professor II Liv Drolsum, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo


Limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) is a visually-debilitating and painful ocular surface disease, often caused by thermal or chemical injury. A current treatment option is transplantation of cultured limbal epithelial cells (LECs). However, clinical success rates vary and an international consensus on an optimal culture protocol is lacking. Many protocols include animal products, with an inherent risk of disease transmission. Hence, we established an alternative protocol void of such products and compared the cells to LECs cultivated with animal-derived supplements. We reported clinical outcome in patients transplanted with LECs cultivated using our protocol. Finally, we further investigated LECs in different culture conditions.

In summary, LECs cultivated using our protocol were similar, and not inferior, to cells cultivated with animal-derived supplements. Also, LECs cultivated with our protocol may be transplanted successfully and safely to patients. In-depth analyses revealed that LECs cultivated in different conditions exhibit similar morphology and cell characteristics. These results augment our understanding of LEC cultivation and may improve management of LSCD.

Additional information

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Published May 10, 2019 1:48 PM - Last modified May 10, 2019 1:50 PM