“Generation of a synthetic retina from embryonic stem cells is a landmark discovery that will help enormously our understanding of blinding eye disease” (Professor James Bainbridge of Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust)
A part of the eye that is essential for vision has been created in the laboratory from animal stem cells, offering hope to the blind and partially sighted.
One day it might be possible to make an eye in a dish, Nature journal reports.
The Japanese team used mouse stem cells – immature cells that have the ability to turn into many types of body tissue (…) A US biotech company has already been granted a license to begin human trials of a stem cell treatment for blindness (…)
Retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are the most common causes of blindness in old age, and involve the gradual and normally irreversible destruction of retinal cells.
In the Japanese study, the cultured stem cells spontaneously organised themselves into a complex structure that resembled the developing embryonic eye (…)
Professor James Bainbridge of Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “It is particularly exciting that this could also provide a source of cells for transplantation.”
Barbara McLaughlan of the RNIB charity said: “This piece of research contributes to the ongoing efforts to harness stem cell research to benefit patients with a number of eye diseases (…)
read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12963297
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