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Stem cells hold promise for fixing corneas


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#41 RK96

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 04:13 PM

The study referenced earlier in this thread involved injecting stem cells into mice to replace scar like tissue. Perfecting this technology would benefit RK patients by theoretically eliminating the scar tissue causing starbursts and light scatter. In eliminating scar tissue, it would undo the corneal instability caused by the scar tissue which makes further corrective procedures impractical. But stem cell technology is in it's infancy. I believe it will do a lot of things, I just don't know when.

#42 RK96

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 08:12 PM

Looks like a better delivery mechanism for future whatever:

http://eyedocnews.co...hout-injection/

#43 kurt

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 09:02 PM

Sounds better than an eye injection.

#44 RK96

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:47 PM

Better than a sharp stick in the eye! :P

#45 RK96

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 12:33 PM

Interesting you tube video from Advanced Cell Technology. Not anything that will help anyone near term, but you can see that technology is moving along.

http://3gmasti.com/s...ell-technology/

#46 RK96

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 08:55 PM

More detail;

http://onlinelibrary...002/stem.91/pdf

#47 RK96

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 09:21 PM

I have only thought about the emerging stem cell therapies in terms of my own problem; scar tissue from RK incisions. It seems to me though that this will also be a possible fix for those with haze from PRK, because that is scar tissue also, right? I did hear from the researcher in PA regarding the progress of their research. He told me they were projecting clinical trials in 2014, probably in India. Cheers,

#48 RK96

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 06:50 AM

Here's another article that shows there is progress being made in this field. While this use of stem cells is not directed at the types of problems most users on this forum have, it does show that the technology in general is moving forward, and that makes me hopeful.

http://www.advancedc...ients/index.asp

#49 RK-Sonic

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:43 PM

http://www.channel4....of-seeing-again

Following a vicious acid attack in 2008, Katie Piper has undergone 109 operations to rebuild her face. But it is the 110th op, using cutting-edge science, which could truly transform her life, providing her only chance of seeing again through her badly damaged left eye. After spending three and a half years struggling to accept she would forever be blind in one eye, Katie heard about pioneering surgery that could potentially restore her sight using the extraordinary power of stem cells.

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Tue 07 Feb, 9PM on Channel 4 : Coming to 4OD Soon!

#50 Janshi

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 09:31 PM

Has anyone been in contact with the good doctor? I'm curious about whether or not this research can directly benefit post-LASIK corneas. From some of the replies here there seems to be some hope that it may help their particular injuries (PRK and RK in particular) but it seems that since all refractive surgery share some similar aspects (trauma to corneal stroma, scar-healing, cutting of corneal nerves) it might be true across the board. For me, the thing that gives me the most hope in particular is this: "In the cornea, the cells activated to transform into corneal cells that reorganized the tissue fibers and produced a smooth, transparent cornea." and this: " After injection with human stromal stem cells, stromal thickness and collagen fibril defects in these mice were restored to that of normal mice" Could this mean that, theoretically, the adult stem cells could create a stronger interlace between the stroma and the flap? Would it repair and reorganize the stroma so that the flap would essentially become wholly part of the eye? Though I suspect that since LASIK and PRK both re-shape the corneal stroma, the refractive corrections of both would disappear...which I'm fine with, if the eye can become whole and safe. I just sent the doctor an e-mail, fingers crossed for a response.

#51 RK96

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 05:41 PM

If you look at Col Flagg4077's post from Jan 10, 2010 in this thread http://www.lasermyey...read.php?t=2650 it is indicated that this could be applicable to scarring and hazing from refractive surgeries. It is stated by Dr. Funderburgh in a Feb. video on the university web site they are hoping to be ready for clinical trials in 18 months. Waiting for these emerging technologies is just another part of the frustration.

#52 Janshi

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 06:17 PM

I saw his reply, and as a Lasik sucker with starbursts and haloes, I'm pretty damn heartened. However, I was also wondering whether this had the potential to be a 'reset' button. In the mice the stromal stem cells reorganized the tissue and returned damaged stroma to original thickness (or at least as I read it). The human eye is a lot more complicated but if the procedure works as designed, could it essentially return the eye to its original shape, negating the danger of the LASIK flap (which exists because of the insufficient interface between flap and stromal bed) and other post-refractive surgery issues? Which is the question I sent to the doctor. I asked whether anybody was in contact with the man so to see if perhaps I could sneak in this question to an already established correspondence. I don't expect a definite answer, but an educated guess would be nice.

#53 RK96

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 10:06 PM

It is easy to imaging this would change the shape and thickness of the cornea, but it is not easy to imagine it would sculpt it back to the most desireable shape. However, a cornea without scar tissue or gaping incisions would likely provide better vision and additional options for further correction.

#54 AMA

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 07:46 AM

I would love it if I could grow my cornea back to original and wear -8 glasses again.

#55 Janshi

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:29 AM

Sent an e-mail off to one of the other researchers in hope of an educated guess. I doubt it will return the stroma to exact original specifications, but at least in the mice the difference between wild, untouched mice and stem cell mice was negligible. And while it might not give you great natural eyesight, I'd go for a safe, secure and visually uncomplicated eye over the Lasik eye. One of the things I'm really curious about is whether or not the reorganization of stromal fibers will essentially eliminate the danger of the flap (both in regards to infection and dislocation). Since the posterior part of the flap and the stromal bed are all stroma, it stands to reason that said reorganization should strengthen the cornea back to normal tensile strength. However, even if the science is sound - that is, the stroma has the ability to reorganize itself following stem cell therapy - who knows what the actual technique will accomplish. Just ruminating aloud.

#56 RK96

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:57 AM

This is an interesting blog. This guy posts most of the relevant stem cell news. If you look through the entries over the last 6 months you can see that progress is definitley being made.

http://bensstemcellnews.blogspot.com/

#57 AMA

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:59 AM

In terms of the cornea, I only read that the epithelial cells regenerate.

#58 RK96

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:14 AM

Also there there are clinical trials underway for macular degeneration. But my point was that a lot is happening in the field. Things learned in one area can benefit another. And having an available bank of quality cells to use for research does not seem far away. When this happens, I think progress will happen much faster.

#59 Janshi

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:48 AM

AMA, this is from the article:

Dr. Funderburgh said the stem cells stored in niches in the stroma of the eye do not naturally become activated to repair the cornea, probably because the faster process of scarring supersedes stem-cell repair. Nature, he said, apparently seeks the quicker rather than better fix.


Another study I think done the same year injected umbilical mesenchymal stem-cell covered fibroplasts into the eye, and also showed tissue reorganization and increased thickness. What's even more exciting about that one is that it clearly demonstrated that the umbilical mesenchymal stem cells automatically differentiated into a keratocyte phenotype that improved keratocyte functions. This is something that LASIK and I think PRK patients have to be concerned about, since keratocytes die in significant numbers after surgery.

Study can be found here: http://www.plosone.o...al.pone.0010707

The fact that stem cells have been discovered in the corneal stroma (dating back to a a study by the same team in 2005) show that the ability for the stroma to heal itself exists. All refractive surgery damages the epithelium, and while I can't state anything with any certainty it seems that the eye is more concerned with the immediate problem of healing the outermost surface and is perfectly okay with doing a more shoddy job on the inner part.

And as sncopeland has stated, there are a variety of other corneal stem cell work going on, some even in human clinical trial. I imagine that fixing the cornea will be something that could be achieved within 10 years (1st generation). It'll certainly be faster than other stem cell research, since the advantage of the cornea is that it is immunosuppressed.

#60 RK96

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 08:01 AM

Here is a paper dated April 2012 by Dr. Funderburgh. It is pretty technical, but the abstract and the conclusion are short and easily read.

http://onlinelibrary...2/stem.1100/pdf




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