Patients’ Own Stem Cells Cure Partial Blindness

For the blind-in-one-eye do-it-yourself’ers:
1) Take stem cells from your healthy, seeing eye
2) Culture stem cells in extended-wear contact lens
3) Wear said contact lens in blind eye
4) See marked improvement in 10-14 days

gas_permeable_contact_lensThe Australian reports:

Although the novel technique was used to reverse blinding corneal disease, it promises to be a quick, painless and cheap treatment for other visual disorders. It may even be useful for repairing damaged skin, the researchers reported today in the journal Transplantation.

[…]

Two of the three patients were legally blind in the treated eye; they can now read big letters on the eye chart. The third could read the top few rows of the chart but is now able to pass the vision test for a driving license.

[…]

Dr Di Girolamo said the group has applied for funds to continue the project, which he thinks will be welcomed particularly in poor nations: “It’s simple and easy for the patient and you don’t need fancy equipment; just an opthalmic surgeon and a lab for cell culture”.

The patients have removed the contacts and have been seeing with their new eyes for 18 months now.

Wow.

More: Source (The Australian); Video (UNSWtv)

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