Things like this are pretty good reminders that using our own stem cells can be very potent in healing ourselves. Three patients who were blind in one eye were recently part of a study. Researchers extracted stem cells from their working eyes and cultured them in contact lenses for about ten days. They gave them to the patients and within ten days to two weeks, the stem cells began to recolonize and repair the cornea.
Of the three patients, two were legally blind but can now read the big letters on an eye chart, while the third, who could previously read the top few rows of the chart, is now able to pass the vision test for a driver’s license. The research team isn’t getting over excited, still remaining unsure as to whether the correction will remain stable, but the fact that the three test patients have been enjoying restored sight for the last 18 months is definitely encouraging. The simplicity and low cost of the technique also means that it could be carried out in poorer countries.
This is pretty spectacular and definitely a sign of great things to come.[UNSW via The Australian via GizMag via Gizmodo]