Serious eye care treatments may be revolutionised by the findings of a recent study.
Research carried out by a team led by Dr Winston Whei-Yang Kao, a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Cincinnati, has found that transplanting human umbilical stem cells into mouse models that lack the protein lumican was able to restore the transparency of cloudy and thin corneas.
Dr Kao said that the discovery may lead to an alternative treatment to corneal transplantation.
"Worldwide, there is a shortage of suitable corneas for transplantation, and at the present time, there is no effective alternative procedure besides corneal transplantation to treat corneal blindness. These findings have the potential to create new and better treatments," he explained.
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine are working on prolonging the survival of retinal cells known as photoreceptors, which may help delay the onset of blindness if successful.
by Alexa Kaczka