Scientists in the U.S. believe stem cells
inside your teeth could one day help repair injured corneas, a problem that affects millions
of people around the world. What′s promising is that the treatment uses
the patient′s own cells, so there′s no need for a transplant, which could reduce
the risk of rejection and lead to safer therapies. Sohn Jung-in reports.
The cornea is the clear outermost layer of the eye.
It′s an important tissue that protects the eye and helps transmit and focus light on
the retina. Corneal damage can result in permanent vision
loss… and can only be treated with transplants from donors.
U.S. researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have found a new way to repair the injury
using a person′s own cells. The scientists succeeded in converting stem
cells extracted from the dental pulp of a wisdom tooth into a cornea-like structure.
They cultured the stem cells and turned them into corneal cells, which have the same embryonic
origin. Then they injected the altered cells into
the corneas of healthy mice, where they were integrated without any signs of rejection.
Experts say the latest findings have great potential for use in regenerating therapies
and it could open up a new path to treating corneal blindness, which affects millions
of people worldwide. Still, they say it could take years for the
technique to be safely tested in humans. Sohn Jung-in, Arirang News.