UCL INSTITUTE OF OPHTHALMOLOGY
DIVISION OF MOLECULAR THERAPY
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STEM CELL THERAPY AND CELL TRANSPLANTATION

 

Channel 4 Stem Cell News Feature

What are stem cells?
Stem cells are specialised cells that can divide and replace other (non-stem) cells when they are lost. Stem cells can be found in embryos as well as adult tissues, but these cells have slightly different properties.

What is stem cell therapy?
Retinal stem cell therapy aims to inject stem cells into the eye, where they can turn into photoreceptor cells and thereby replace the cells that have been lost due to retinal diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and RP.

What have we achieved?
Recently, we were the first group to provide proof that transplanted immature cells had wired up to the retina correctly and were signalling when they were stimulated with light. These results suggest that we might be able to use stem cells to restore vision in patients.

The future
It is difficult to predict how long it will take to optimise the differentiation and integration processes, but it is likely that it will require considerable time before stem cell therapy trials can be considered.

 

This page last modified 18 December, 2012 by xxx


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