A team of scientists have found a simple and an economical solution for the treatment of patients with blinding corneal disease. They have made a revolutionary breakthrough by utilizing the stem cells cultured on contact lenses to repair the condition of these patients. This world-first breakthrough was conducted by the experts from the University of New South Wales (UNSW).
Seemingly this simple procedure yielded results by improving their sight within a few weeks itself. For this procedure, these experts were stated to have harvested stem cells from the patient’s own eyes to regenerate the affected cornea. These stem cells were believed to have been harvested on common therapeutic contact lenses which were then placed on the patient’s cornea for a period of about 10 days. It was presumed that during this time period the cells may be able to heal the damaged corneas.
Study lead author, Dr. Nick Di Girolamo, UNSW, says that, “The procedure is totally simple and cheap. Unlike other techniques, it requires no foreign human or animal products, only the patient’s own serum, and is completely non-invasive. There’s no suturing, there is no major operation: all that’s involved is harvesting a minute amount – less than a millimeter – of tissue from the ocular surface.”
“If you’re going to be treating these sorts of diseases in third world countries all you need is the surgeon and a lab for cell culture. You don’t need any fancy equipment,” continues Dr. Di Girolamo.
This procedure was evidently tested on about three patients suffering from cornea damage. Since this technique makes use of the stem cells harvested from the patients own eye it is believed to be suitable even for those people with unilateral eye disease. This mind boggling procedure is believed to also be applicable on the other organs as well.
This revolutionary study was presented in the Transplantation journal.