Researchers have identified a way to enhance regrowth of human corneal tissue to restore vision, using a molecule that acts as a marker for hard-to-find limbal stem cells.
This work, a collaboration among the Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the VA Boston Healthcare System, holds promise for burn patients, victims of chemical injury, and others with damaging eye diseases.
The research, published this week in the journal Nature,is also one of the first examples of constructing a tissue from an adult-derived human stem cell.
Limbal stem cells reside in the eye’s
Children born with so-called “bubble boy” disease have the best chance of survival if they undergo a hematopoietic stem cell transplant as soon after birth as possible, according to a detailed analysis of 10 years of outcome data by researchers at the Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.
Researchers say the findings support expanding newborn screening for severe combined immune deficiency (SCID), a disorder that leaves affected infants so vulnerable to infection that most die within the first year of life if untreated.
The study, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, analyzed data on 240 children
tem cell scientists scored what at first appeared an easy win for regenerative medicine when they discovered mesenchymal stem cells several decades ago. These cells, found in bone marrow, can give rise to fat, bone, and muscle tissue, and have been used in hundreds of clinical trials for tissue repair. Unfortunately, the results of these trials have been underwhelming. One problem is that these stem cells don’t stick around in the body long enough to benefit patients.
But Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital aren’t ready to give up. A research team led by Juan Melero-Martin
The mesenchymal stem cells found in the bone marrow can give rise to bone, fat, and muscle tissue, and have been used in hundreds of clinical trials for tissue repair.
Unfortunately, the results of these trials have been underwhelming, the main problem being that these stem cells do not stick around in the body long enough to benefit the patient.
Researchers have now found that transplanting mesenchymal stem cells along with blood vessel-forming cells naturally found in circulation improves results.
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