Derivation of Epithelial Cells from Human Embryonic Stem Cells as an In Vitro Model of Vocal Mucosa

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Vocal fold epithelial cells are very difficult to study as the vocal fold epithelial cell lines do not exist and they cannot be removed from the healthy larynx without engendering a significant and unacceptable risk to vocal fold function. Here, we describe the procedure to create an engineered vocal fold tissue construct consisting of the scaffold composed of the collagen 1 gel seeded with human fibroblasts and simple epithelial progenitors seeded on the scaffold and cultivated at air–liquid interface for 19–21 days to derive the stratified squamous epithelium. This model of vocal fold mucosa is very similar in morphology, gene expression, and phenotypic characteristics to native vocal fold epithelial cells and the underlying lamina propria and, therefore, offers a promising approach to studying vocal fold biology and biomechanics in health and disease.


PMID: 25403465