Biological membranes have been used as grafts since more than one century ago to promote tissue regeneration in cutaneous and mucosal injuries. In particular, the therapeutic use of human placental membranes is ancient. In 1910, J.W. Davis was the first who described and reported the use of the fetal amniotic membrane as a surgical material in skin transplantation. The amniotic membrane was first used in human Ophthalmology in 1940, when De Röth suggested using this membrane in the treatment of an ocular burn wound like a bandage. These first procedures included both fresh amnion and chorion. The treatments were relatively successful, but the use of amniotic membrane then fell out of favor until the mid-1990’s, when with Kim and Tseng, using improved processing and better developed storage techniques. Since then, thousands of ocular surgical procedures have been performed with amniotic membrane as well as more than 700 publications.
In Veterinary Ophthalmology, the literature reports using biological membranes have included, for example, equine pericardium, rabbit renal capsule, canine peritoneum and equine renal capsule. However, in the last few years, and taking note of the extensive advances in human medicine, there have been many successful surgeries with amniotic membrane (amnion) in dogs, cats and horses. The characteristics of the amniotic membrane, including low antigenicity, great antimicrobial potential, promotion of epithelialization, inhibition of fibrosis, relatively ease of production and conservation, as well as the low cost, have led to numerous medical specialties to use this graft as adjuvant therapy. In recent years, a great interest within the field of Veterinary Ophthalmology has been developed, since the properties of amniotic membrane make this tissue an ideal graft to repair defects in the ocular surface. Eye disorders in dog, cat, rabbit and horse have successfully treated with amniotic membrane grafts, both homologous and heterologous, and obtained from the placenta of diverse species (canine, porcine, equine and human). AmnioVet® is the first product of the market processed from amniotic membrane of bovine, and has demonstrated excellent results in the major domestic species encountered in veterinary medicine.