Amniotic Membrane Medical Uses


The amniotic membrane (or amnion) is the innermost layer of the placenta that lines the amniotic cavity. The membrane itself consists of a special combination of tissue layers, making amnion a unique membrane in the human body. The special composition of cellular components in this membrane provide specific functions which aid in the healing process.


Human amniotic membrane has been used for various types of reconstructive surgical procedures since the early 1900s, and it is now also used to treat difficult-to-heal wounds and soft tissue injuries. In surgery, amniotic membrane can be used as a natural biological membrane at the surgical site.


Currently, amniotic membrane is experiencing widespread use in the area of ophthalmic surgery (eye surgery) as a substrate (foundation) to replace the damaged ocular tissue, as a patch (biological graft), or as a combination of both. Doctors use it to treat chemical burns, corneal ulceration, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, and pterygium excision. MiMedx's amnion-based products have been successfully used as a reconstructive aid in over 50,000 ophthalmic surgeries.


Amniotic membrane is currently showing great promise in the area of dentistry to treat gum disease. The use of amniotic membrane allows the patient’s own gum tissue to facilitate the growth of new cells and tissue to replace the tissue lost due to gum disease. Without the use of amnion, the patient is forced to have tissue harvested from his/her soft palate to replace the lost gum tissue.


Doctors can also use amniotic membrane to treat difficult-to-heal wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers, pressure ulcers, burns, and other wounds that do not progress past the inflammatory stage of healing. The amniotic membrane helps to reduce inflammation, enhances soft tissue healing to help close the wound, and even reduces the formation of scar tissue, which often causes cosmetic and physical damage. The amnion delivers growth factors and other building block proteins to enhance the healing process and to help your own cells regenerate the damaged tissue and close the wound.


Soft tissue injuries are common in sports and occur as a result of trauma or overuse. Small tears in the tissue become inflamed and if chronic, may weaken and be more prone to tear. If scar tissue forms, it could further impede the healing process. As in difficult-to-heal wounds, amniotic membrane helps treat sports injuries by delivering growth factors and other natural proteins to reduce scar tissue formation and inflammation and enhance the healing of micro-tears in soft tissue.


In many ways, the use of amnion is safer for the patient because it avoids the need to harvest tissue from the patient or cadavers. Harvesting tissue from the patient can be quite painful and because of the second site, increases the risk of infection. Amnion has the potential to be used in tens of thousands of surgeries annually.


MiMedx is committed to ensuring the safety of its products and the patients who receive them. Donor screening and serological testing is performed for each donation according to strict guidelines set forth by both the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) to eliminate any donation that poses a risk of infectious disease transmission.

Once donor screening and serological testing is complete, the donated tissue is disinfected using MiMedx's proprietary PURION® Process which has been validated as an effective means of decontamination for amniotic membrane. An additional assurance of product safety is provided by terminal sterilization of the processed tissue.