08:04 24 July 2013
A new study has revealed that growing light-sensitive cells of the eye in the lab can be possible with the help of an artificial retina. This may result to reversing blindness using stem-cell transplants. The researchers have, for the first time, transplanted the cells into the eyes of blind mice.
Scientists are confident that in future experiments, they will observe improvement in the vision of the blind mice. They said that the development should pave the way to making clinical trials on patients in five years.
Professor Robin Ali of University College London, who led the research at the Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital, said as reported by The Independent: “The breakthrough here is that we’ve demonstrated we can transplant photoreceptors derived from embryonic stem cells into adult mice. It paves the way to a human clinical trial because now we have a clear route map of how to do it.”
Meanwhile, Dr Marcelo Rivolta, from the University of Sheffield, said the study was a "huge leap" forward for treating blindness and could have implications across stem cell research.
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