The Restoration of Sight
Cardiff University scientists used stem cell to restore the eyesight of rabbits that went blind.
The experiment required the scientists to recreate the development of the whole eye through taking human stem cells and generating several key eye tissue types.
The results of the experiment were published in the science journal of Nature where they found that the transplanted tissues onto the rabbits repaired the front of the eye which gave the rabbits sight once more.
This experiment could one day restore sight or repair damaged vision.
Recent research shows that pluripotent stem cells can be used to create specific cell types – like tissues in the cornea or retina – because they have the ability to change into any cell type.
The co-author of the study, Prof. Andrew Quantock, stated that their research has shown that human stem cells have the capability to transform and become cells resembling those of the cornea, retina and lens. It also demonstrated that the important cell type corneal epithelium can be grown in the lab to be able to transplant it and help recover vision.
Their work and research, which was funded by the Japanese government, shows that the development in cellular research can not only be used for treating areas of the eye, but also in the future total vision restoration in humans.