Researchers Restore Vision to Legally Blind With Stem Cells
Scientists and the University of New South Wales in Australia cultured corneal stem cells on extended wear contact lenses. They then cleaned the corneas of three patients — two of whom were legally blind and one with limited vision (they could read the biggest row of the vision chart) — and had the patient start wearing the lens.
Amazingly, within 10 to 14 days the stem cells had reentered the cornea and began to recolonize it. UNSW’s Dr Nick Di Girolamo describes, “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.”
The two legally blind patients can now read the top row of a vision chart, while the vision impaired patient can read enough of the chart to get their driver’s license.