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Sunday / May 26.
HomeminewsGrow Your Own Cornea in 10 Years

Grow Your Own Cornea in 10 Years

Within 10 years it may be possible to have a biological cornea created in the laboratory and transplanted into a patient, thanks to local research.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]

Researchers from Australia and New Zealand are at the forefront of techniques using adult stem cells to grow corneal tissue suitable for corneal transplants.

“There are three cell layers in the cornea and we can already grow all those cell types, so it won’t be long until we can grow them into a functional biological cornea,” said Charles McGhee, Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Auckland, and Director of the New Zealand National Eye Centre.

“Whether that’s the whole cornea, or whether it’s specific layers of the cornea – we’ll suit it to the needs of the person.”

In Australia and New Zealand, we’ve already treated 40–50 people using adult stem cell transplants…

He said the ability to “use some kind of a matrix as a substitute for a cornea and then grow a person’s own cells – or donated cells – into that matrix”, is a realistic goal for the next decade.

“In Australia and New Zealand, we’ve already treated 40–50 people using adult stem cell transplants. In some cases it’s appropriate to just transfer individual cell groups we want. The aim is to be able to treat corneal diseases that aren’t treatable with full corneal transplants. It’s a real tipping point at the moment.”