According to a new research, a stem cell technology one day may restore sight to the blind people.
In this study, a group of scientists from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Japan, led by the researchers Masayo Takahashi and Michiko Mandai, wanted to test whether the animals’ vision can be restored. They placed mice in cages consisting of two rooms. The floor of one of the rooms was electrified at random points in time. Preceding each electric shock, the team flashed a warning light. To avoid the shock, the mouse had to see the light flash and move to the adjoining room.
The procedure managed to restore sight in nearly half of the mice with end-stage retinal degeneration. This success was due to the researchers’ choice of cells.
Masayo Takahashi explains: “It is still a developing stage therapy, and one cannot expect to restore practical vision at the moment. We will start from the stage of seeing a light or large figure, but hope to restore more substantial vision in the future.”
American researchers said that it will be possible to start the operation to complete transplant of human eyes in near future.
Now a team of Pittsburgh transplant surgeons aims to turn that tide, and they’re hopeful they can do so in just the next decade, using donor eyes to restore sight in people who have suffered traumatic eye injuries.It will give an opportunity to see not only for people with abnormalities of these organs, but also for those who are completely blind from birth or acquired blindness as a result of etiological factors.
At this point, scientists conduct practical research within the laboratory. Experimental animals got transplants for the whole body and its parts. So, it should be noted that the work of scientists has already been partially successful. When transplanting parts of eyes, results are more than positive – engraftment goes well, rejection is extremely rare, the body is fully operational.
As for the transplantation of all eye at once, it’s not perfect yet, the functioning of eye is not maintained because neural connections don’t adapt and blood flow is disrupted. Now scientists are working hard to transplant all eye so that the body was able to maintain full vitality.