Damaged cornea repaired by stem cell coated contact lens

Australian scientists have invented a very simple but ground breaking procedure to help improved vision of people who are suffering from damage cornea.

In a human trial researchers from the University of New South Walse used their amazing technique to treat three patients successfully.

Stem cells were harvested from the eyes of each patient and then cultured inside a contact lens, which was then stuck onto a damaged cornea in a "transplant" of regenerative cells.

According to Dr. Nick Girolamo, there's was no suturing required, there is no major operation, all that's involved is harvesting a minute amount, that is less than a millimetre of tissue from the ocular surface.

The lens stayed on for 10 days allowing stem cells to change their form, colonise and repair the cornea.

Treating the third patient was a challenge, unlike other two, both the eyes of this patient was effected due to a congenital disorder, so researchers had to extract stem cells from conjunctiva instead of cornea, but the stem cells were able to change from the conjunctival phenotype to a corneal phenotype after they put them onto the cornea, which is a unique specialty of stem cells.

Researchers are looking forward to cure a range of blinding eye conditions. The simple procedure which required a surgeon and a laboratory of cell culture, would be very effective in the third world countries. Researchers are hopeful that this technique would be able to cure some skin conditions also.

Source: perth now


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