Not necessarily, according to the various dictionaries I've had a look at.
It is a medical term as well (see my link to Merriam Webster above).
And here's another one (from free dictionary
denudation ,n stripping bare; the process of removing the outer (epithelial) layer by surgery or disease.
Let me clarify:
The word de-epithelialize
(AmE) is specific in its meaning in that it tells you what
is removed or absent,
namely the epithelium. This word is not site specific; in other words, it can be used about any site or part of the body, internal or external, that has an epithelial covering or lining (skin or mucosal surfaces). The opposite process is re-epithelialize,
again a specific term that describes what
has been put back or grown back
. It follows that it would be pointless to use these words about anything but epithelium… and that ‘re-
or de-epithelialization of the epithelium’
would be a pleonasm; and herein lies the specificity of this medical term.
This is in contrast to denudation
(noun) or to denude
(verb), which lacks the ‘built-in’ specificity of de-epithelialize
. You can certainly use denude
in a medical context but you will usually indicate what was denuded. And the word in and of itself…taken completely out of context…doesn’t tell you if we’re talking about forestry, geology or medicine. It is not incorrect to use it in the above context, but you would have to specify what is denuded. That’s what my added comment meant.
Background: Mucosal (epithelial) cells from the mouth can be grown (cultured) on human amniotic membranes from which the epithelial lining has been stripped.
Oral mucosal cells were cultured on denuded human amniotic membranes
(OK, but…a little vague as to what and how much of the membranes was denuded)
Oral mucosal cells were cultured on human amniotic membranes denuded of the epithelium
(better…the sentence now specifies what was removed)
Oral mucosal cells were cultured on de-epithelialized human amniotic membranes
(a concise description)