Stem Cell Therapy for Blindness receives global validation

(Stem Cells News image)

In 2010, L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) moved away from culturing corneal stem cells in a petri-dish in the laboratory to directly culturing and expanding them on the patient’s eye.

This ingenuous technique was termed Simple Limbal Epithelial Transplantation (SLET) to contrast it from the radical tissue transplants and complex culture techniques that were the standard of care at that time.

SLET completely eliminates the need for laboratory based processing thereby making it possible to be executed by any well trained surgeon anywhere (…)

A pilot clinical trial was done on a small sample size including 125 patients, 65 adults and 60 children who developed unilateral limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) after suffering ocular surface burns and underwent SLET between 2010 and 2014 (…)

Dr Virender Sangwan, Director – Srujana Centre for Innovation, Centre for Regenerative Ophthalmology and Clinical Research said, “True to its name, SLET allows the marvel of stem cell therapy to be easily accessible to anyone who needs it.”

SLET has demolished the invisible walls that had made limbal stem cell transplantation an exclusive procedure. Earlier it was practiced by only an elite group of ophthalmologists who worked in sophisticated centers with stem cell labs.

Dr Sangwan further added that the team at LVPEI has been performing SLET on patients with blinding and unsightly ocular burns and restoring their sight, apart from training cornea surgeons from across the world. This significantly decreased the cost and made limbal stem cell transplantation more accessible through SLET.

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