A recent study posted in Science Transitional Medicine suggests that mesenchymal stem cells from a patient’s own eye may one day replace corneal transplants. Dr. Sayan Basu and his team of doctors in India have been studying mesenchymal corneal stem cells for over a decade and have found that these cells can regenerate wounded corneal cells in mice far more effectively than the limbus stem cells that have already been through a clinical trial. Researchers found that after 50,000 stem cells were applied to the eyes of mice, there was no evidence of inflammation or rejection four weeks later. Doctors are confident there is a very low risk of inflammation or rejection in a patient because the cells are taken directly from the patient and grown in the patient’s own serums. Researchers hope to begin clinical trials in the United States in the next 3 years and are confident that this procedure could help millions of people worldwide in need of corneal transplants.
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