Stem cell-coated contact lens restores vision to the partially sighted

Researchers from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, have come up with a revolutionary treatment for corneal disease that involves growing stem cells from the patient on a contact lens. After ten days, the lens is then placed into the patient's eye and the stem cells move from the lens to the eye, healing the damaged cornea and restoring sight rapidly — a vast improvement from traditional transplant methods, where the donor organ can easily be rejected by the host body.

Dr Nick Di Girolamo, one of the men behind the breakthrough, claims that the method is 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. You don't need any fancy equipment."

Although the technique currently only treats corneal damage, the research team is hoping that it will be able to adapt the idea to treat retinal damage — and, perhaps later, on other organs such as skin, which behaves in a similar way to the cornea. The procedure is carried out using local anaesthetic and allows patients to return home within two hours.

Via Daily Mail