Stem Cell Contact Lenses Cure Blindness in Less Than a Month
By Adam Frucci, 2:00 PM on Wed Jun 3 2009
Here’s something that people with poor or no vision will be excited about: three patients had their sight restored in less than a month by contact lenses cultured with stem cells.
All three patients were blind in one eye. The researchers extracted stem cells from their working eyes, cultured them in contact lenses for 10 days, and gave them to the patients. Within 10 to 14 days of use, the stem cells began recolonizing and repairing the cornea.
Of the three patients, two were legally blind but can now read the big letters on an eye chart, while the third, who could previously read the top few rows of the chart, is now able to pass the vision test for a driver’s license. The research team isn’t getting over excited, still remaining unsure as to whether the correction will remain stable, but the fact that the three test patients have been enjoying restored sight for the last 18 months is definitely encouraging. The simplicity and low cost of the technique also means that it could be carried out in poorer countries.
This is incredible and potentially game changing. It’s stuff like this that makes you realize that we live in the future, and it’s awesome.