An artificial cornea from stem cells for the first time transplanted human

We have repeatedly told you about the scientific progress in the use of stem cells (if you are interested in such news, we recommend you subscribe to our channel-Telegram). However, new technology trials in humans are not so often. At the same time, scientists are developing more and more new methods of stem cells. And one of these is not only recently successfully passed the first tests in humans, but can enter into medical practice in the not very distant future. This is the first in the history of transplanting artificial cornea, created from stem cells.

An artificial cornea from stem cells for the first time transplanted human

No corneal our organ of vision can not exist

Why the cornea is so important?

Cornea (or iris) is a critical component to our perception of the surrounding world. This is one of the most essential "elements" of the eye. In simple terms, the cornea is essentially a lens. If we draw an analogy with a camera, the cornea - a camera lens. The cornea is collected and focused in the right direction of light rays, which are already perceived by other parts of the visual analyzer. That is why the "failure" of the cornea bears the risk of complete loss of vision.

As stem cells can help restore vision

According to the journal Nature, in the report on ophthalmic conference in late August ophthalmologist Koji Nishida he became the first person in the world from Osaka University (Japan) said that one of his patients (whose name was not disclosed), which restored the cornea using reprogrammed stem cells . Dr. Nishida also said that his patient suffered from a disease in which the cornea loses its transparency and cells die. This is the first "blurring" the contours and objects, and then complete loss of vision. Typically, the treatment of such conditions using a donor cornea, taken from recently deceased people. But in this case the doctors decided to do otherwise.

Read also: A new type of cell that can save thousands of lives. And it is not stem cells

In order to cure a woman, Nishida and his team used induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS-cells). These are the cells which by reprogramming of skin cells transferred to an embryonic state, from which they can then be transformed into other cell types. Including in the cornea cells. Of iPS-cell scientists have grown a new cornea, which is the patient and transplanted. The operation was carried out in early August, but it took 3 weeks of rehabilitation, after which the vision returned to the woman. Now her vision is not threatened. Stages corneal transplantation

It is worth noting that this is not the first time the use of stem cells by the Japanese. Earlier, they were used to treat spinal cord injuries. Also, work is underway in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. As for this case, after successful surgery Japan's Ministry of Health has authorized Mr. Nishida try the procedure once on four volunteers. The next operation is scheduled for the end of this year, and spent a procedure that can be used for general treatment, according to the scientist, it should appear in five years.