Stem cells taken from dead donors, living relatives or even the patients themselves are grown in a laboratory until they form sheets and then transplanted on to the surface of the cornea.
The team from the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, worked on sufferers of a rare genetic eye disorder called aniridia.
It is a condition where people are born with no iris and who later develop problems with the surface of their eye, resulting in pain and loss of vision.
But eye specialist Sheraz Daya, from the Queen Victoria Hospital, said stem cell treatment appears to halt progress of the condition, which affects up to 1,000 people in the UK.
Four patients have so far received the treatment successfully in one eye and reported an improvement in their comfort and vision, and now await treatment in their other eye.
All had little or no vision because they had few or no limbal stem cells under the eyelid which help keep the surface of the cornea clear and healthy.
Results aren’t in yet, but those involved find the science “extremely exciting.” Just another great thing happening with adult stem cell research! Pass it on!
H/T Life Ethics