Researchers use stem cells to create retina!
Optometric Physician reports that Scientists at the University of California, Irvine, have created an eight-layer, early stage retina from human embryonic stem cells. The Keirstead team utilized a process called differentiation, which they originated in previous studies, to create the multiple cell types necessary for the retina. To mimic early stage retinal development, the researchers needed to build microscopic gradients for solutions in which to bathe the stem cells to initiate specific differentiation paths. They are testing the early stage retinas in animal models to learn how much they improve vision. Positive results would lead to human clinical trials.
This clinical breakthrough means we are a step closer to restoring the retina in people who have scarring from conditions like Macular Degeneration. This could lead to regaining vision. Some years away but closer than before!