Skin stem cells "may help regenerate eyes"

Skin stem cells "may help regenerate eyes"

A radical new form of treatment using stem cells may help to regenerate the eyes and treat blindness-causing conditions.

That is the claim being made by experts at the Schepens Eye Research Institute, who have become the first to regenerate significant areas of damaged retinas and also improve visual function.

Using special red fluorescent induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in mouse models, they were able to develop precursor retinal cells, which mature in the eye, and were ready to be transplanted within 33 days.

"Within four to six weeks, the researchers observed that the transplanted "red" cells had taken up residence in the appropriate retinal area (photoreceptor layer) of the eye and had begun to integrate and assemble into healthy looking retinal tissue," the study authors noted.

Meanwhile, a new study carried out by experts at Columbia University Medical Center has found that preventing the clumping of vitamin A may help to prevent blindness-causing eye conditions.

by Martin Burns

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