They extract stem cells from the retina of cadavers.
Heal the blindness or lack of vision in people could be possible through an unconventional method. A group of scientists studies the benefits of retinal stem cells in the eyes of dead people. A specific component could be key and thus cure millions of people who suffer from this condition.
Daily Mail reports that the scientists behind the project belong to the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount sinai, In Israel. And they put the research focus on an eye region called retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). This is a layer of stem cells that carries nutrients and waste products. These components are located, specifically, on a strip at the back of the eye.
The stem cells in question are pigmented. So one of its functions is to help absorb light. Something that is vital to generate a normal vision process.
When the RPE suffers conditions, damages or breakdowns, vision is compromised and blindness appears. Sometimes it even suffers from degenerative processes. So, because of this description that you just read, about 200 million people in the world suffer from vision problems.
Animal tests to cure blindness
The previously exposed process has already been tested in animals. Specifically, they transplanted stem cells from the retina of a deceased person into the eyes of several visually impaired monkeys. The primates survived and the RPE absorbed and replaced the damaged components.
« We have shown that RPE derived from a human cadaveric donor at least partially replaces function in the macula of a non-human primate, » said Timothy Blenkinsop, author of this research.
« It may be a promising source for rescuing vision in patients with retinal diseases, » he concluded.