A research suggests that induced pluripotent stem cells—the stem cells generated from adult cells—could be used to provide replacement corneal or lens tissue for human eyes. This study was published in Nature.
A team from Cardiff University, in collaboration with Osaka University in Japan, have generated cells with characteristics of the cornea, lens and retina and implanted them in a partially-sighted rabbit.
The tissues were shown to repair the front of the eye and restore the animal’s vision. They could pave the way for human clinical trials of anterior eye transplantation to restore lost or damaged vision, reports Wales Online.
Study co-author Professor Andrew Quantock, from Cardiff University’s School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, said: “This research shows that various types of human stem cells are able to take on the characteristics of the cornea, lens and retina.”
“Importantly, it demonstrates that one cell type—the corneal epithelium—could be further grown in the lab and then transplanted onto a rabbit’s eye where it was functional, achieving recovered vision.” This was stated in Science Daily.
“Our work not only holds potential for developing cells for treatment of other areas of the eye but could set the stage for future human clinical trials of anterior eye transplantation to restore visual function,” Ceri Jackson, director of RNIB Cymru said to Wales Online.
“Every day in Wales five more people begin to lose their sight. That’s why one of our priorities is to urge the Welsh Government to make sure that patients have access to timely appointments and treatment.” He added.
The research was funded by the Japanese government’s Agency for Medical Research and Development.
Stem cells have a great boon to the mankind. They can be used to mend a broken heart to curing Parkinson’s disease, rebuilding bones and cartilage repairing damaged immune systems, burns, stroke spinal cord injury or disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, Irritable bowel disease, and Bladder disease.