TONY EASTLEY: In a world first Melbourne researchers have rebuilt the surface of a human eye, using adult stem cells grown on a special type of contact lens.
One of the researchers is Karl Brown from the Centre for Eye Research Australia. He’s speaking with Ashley Hall.
KARL BROWN: We collected the adult stem cells from the very edge of the cornea. In the final version this could be the patient’s own eye if they have a good eye and an injured eye. Or it could be from material left over that is not used for a corneal transplant.
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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
Limbus stem cell transplants (a layer of adult stem cells surrounding the cornea responsible for restoring corneal epithelium naturally during life) rebuild the ocular surface when damaged due to chemical and physical agents (like lime). They also repair “injuries” due to improper use of contact lenses. Vincenzo Sarnicola, a cornea and stem cell transplant expert, leading ocular surface specialist in Grosseto, Professor of Ocular Surface Surgery at the University of Siena, and President of the Italian Stem Cell and Ocular Surface Society (SICSSO) explained, “When the ocular surface loses its stem cells it is unable to defend