Scientists at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, 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, and there is a severe shortage of donated material. This is particularly the case throughout the world, where religious or political views often hinder the use of donated material.Replacing donated corneas
Scientists Charles Hanson and Ulf Stenevi have used defective corneas obtained from the ophthalmology clinic at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Mölndal. Their study is now published in the journal Acta Ophthalmologica, and shows how human stem cells can be caused to develop into what are known as “epithelial cells” after 16 days’ culture in the laboratory and a further 6 days’ culture on a cornea. It is the epithelial cells that maintain the transparency of the cornea.First time ever on human corneas
“If we can establish a routine method for this, the availability of material for patients who need a new cornea will be essentially unlimited. Both the surgical procedures and the aftercare will also become much more simple”, says Ulf Stenevi.
Link to the article: http://bit.ly/xm3SeMBibliographic data:
Link to the article: http://bit.ly/xm3SeMFor more information, please contact: Charles Hanson, Associate Professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
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