Stems Cells Used on Damaged Corneas
About 40,000 corneal transplants are performed each year, making it the most frequently performed transplant surgery in the world. Fewer donor corneas are available because more and more people are having laser vision correction surgery like LASIK, which makes their corneas unsuitable for transplants. Because of this shrinking pool of donors, scientists at the University of Cincinnati have attempting to create corneal tissue from umbilical stem cells to repair the damaged corneas of mice…and they’ve been successful! These stem cell transplants are only successful for corneal injuries, infections, and scarring. The scientists will begin doing the stem cell transplants on larger animals before beginning any research on humans. Some ophthalmologists are projecting that stem cell corneal transplants may one day replace cornea transplants!