A new cornea may be the only way to prevent a patient going blind – but there is a shortage of donated corneas and the queue for transplantation is long. Scientists at the Sahlgrenska Academy have for the first time successfully cultivated stem cells on human corneas, which may in the long term remove the need for donators.
Approximately 500 corneal transplantations are carried out each year in Sweden, and about 100,000 in the world. The damaged and cloudy cornea that is turning the patient blind is replaced with a healthy, transparent one. But the procedure requires a donated cornea,
Surgeons in Sweden have replaced the cancerous windpipe of a Maryland man with one made in a laboratory and seeded with the man’s cells.
The windpipe, or trachea, made from minuscule plastic fibers and covered in stem cells taken from the man’s bone marrow, was implanted in November.
The patient, Christopher Lyles, 30, whose tracheal cancer had progressed to the point where it was considered inoperable, arrived home in Baltimore on Wednesday. It was the second procedure of its kind and the first for an American.
“I’m feeling good,” Lyles said in a telephone interview. “I’m just thankful for a second chance