25.11.2014

Researchers create retina from embryonic cells

Researchers create retina from embryonic cells

Researchers in the US have successfully created a retina from human embryonic stem cells, which offers hope to millions with degenerative eye disorders.

Experts at the University of California Irvine created an eight-layer, early stage retina from human embryonic stem cells, which is the first ever three-dimensional tissue structure to be made from stem cells.

Study leader Hans Keirstead of the Reeve-Irvine Research Center and the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center at the facility, said the process also marks the first step towards the development of transplant-ready retinas to treat conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.

"We made a complex structure consisting of many cell types. This is a major advance in our quest to treat retinal disease," he explained.

Recently, German research centre Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft claimed that a new implant made of plastic could soon offer patients the chance to see again without having to wait for cornea transplants.

by Martin Burns


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