India – Stem cells from single cornea of dead now treating many

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Human eye about 1 week after a Cornea transpla...
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Patients suffering from blindness now need not wait for donors as doctors have found a way to treat many with the stem cells derived from the cornea of a dead body.
Doctors at the AIIMS and a private clinic in the national capital are using corneal surface stem cells from a cadaver’s (dead person) eye for curing corneal injuries in many.

“We have used the corneal surface stem cells of cadaver’s eye for patients with corneal injury and have been able to correct many vision,” Dr Radhika Tandon, Associate Professor, Department of Opthalmology, AIIMS said, adding “this has been done on over more than 100 patients of corneal injury.” Usually, the standard practice has been a corneal transplant from human cadaver. But due to shortage of donors, doctors have become more specific in their mode of treatment.

The technique has come as a divine blessing to many patients, Tandon said.
“Instead of a whole cornea for one patient, we check the level of injury and use stem cells instead. This way we can help even four patients with one cornea,” Dr Asim Kumar Kandar, Consultant, Centre for Sight, said.
Stem cells exist in various regions of the eye but so far, they can be found at the outer edges of the cornea, he said.

from Press Trust of India

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