|Researchers say this is a step forward in treating blindness|
Researchers from University College London (UCL) and Moorfields Eye Hospital in the UK, transplanted the photoreceptor cells in to night-blind mice and found that the cells developed normally.
“We have been working on trying to find ways of repairing the retina by transplanting photoreceptor cells, and we have demonstrated proof of concept of that development. They are not stem cells, they are not fully mature photoreceptor cells, but they are immature photoreceptor cells.”
Prof. Ali says that it will be a few years before this research will be used within a human trial, but the team have already started working with human embryonic stem cells.
“There are a number of ways that we can use this research to develop ways of treating blindness through gene therapy and artificial retinas. This is a very exciting approach because it has the ability to restore vision in patients who have very little vision, and the main cause of this in the developing world is loss of photoreceptors. Currently there is no treatment for that.”