Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stem cells can be transplanted to the retina

18.03.2004


Transplanting stem cells to a diseased retina may be a method of treating certain common eye disorders in the future. In her dissertation, Lund scientist Anita Blixt Wojciechowski reports research findings that enhance the knowledge needed to make this treatment possible.



Retinitis pigmentosa is a hereditary retinal disease that affects one person in 3,500 and leads to severe vision impairment or blindness. Age-related deterioration of the yellow spot, the part of the retina that is most crucial to sharp vision, is another common cause of vision impairment. This disease (age related macular disease) affects nearly a third of all people over the age of 75. Today there is no good treatment for either disease.

Anita Blixt Wojciechowski’s research involves transplanting fetal stem cells from rats to the eyes of adult rats. She has experienced both success and failure in her work.


- We managed to get the transplanted cells to integrate and spread in the host’s retina. On the other hand, they did not develop into new, healthy nerve cells but rather into glia cells, which constitute a sort of support tissue, she says.

Many research teams have had trouble getting stem cells to develop into nerve cells. But there is an alternative solution. It should be possible to have the transplanted cells carry with them growth factors and other substances that can save the sick cells. They could also be supplied with genes that produce the substances that the sick cells are no longer capable of producing. For these purposes the transplanted stem cells do not need to develop into nerve cells. They can just as well be glia cells.

The ideal solution in the future would be to take stem cells from the patients themselves, according to Anita Blixt Wojciechowski. There are in fact stem cells on the edge of the retina even in adults. If these could be removed, cultivated in larger quantities, supplied with genes to produce the necessary substances, and then transplanted back into the diseased eye, there would be no problems of rejection and no ethical problems involving fetal stem cells. It’s a long road, but a few steps have now been taken in the right direction.

Ingela Björck | alfa
Further information:
http://www.lub.lu.se/cgi-bin/show_diss.pl?db=global&fname=med_902.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht When the eyes move, the eardrums move, too
24.01.2018 | Duke University

nachricht Deaf children learn words faster than hearing children
24.01.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists have learned to change the wavelength of Tamm plasmons

24.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

When the eyes move, the eardrums move, too

24.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Deaf children learn words faster than hearing children

24.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>