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Researchers Restore Vision by 'Growing' Eye Cells

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And now, according to the Associated Press, the number of successful transplants done by the researchers from Taiwan has increased to 60 out of 90 attempts.

"This is building on what a lot of us have been working on, and that's stem cell transplantation for rehabilitation of severely injured eyes; they've just taken it to another level," Edward J. Holland, MD, who was not involved in the studies, tells WebMD. "Potentially we can minimize risk to the donor, and also potentially bank stem cells that we could use at another time in the case of rejection or inflammation." Holland is professor of ophthalmology at the University of Cincinnati and director of cornea at the Cincinnati Eye Institute.

"The exciting part is that we know this can be done; the frustrating part is that we don't have all the answers," Schwab tells WebMD. He adds more improvements need to be made to the procedure.

Things still aren't perfect for Beebe either. "I was hoping that the stem cells would help the cornea more, and it would get better, and better, and better," he tells WebMD. "But it's been stable, and that's great, because that was my problem: [before the surgery] it was getting worse and worse and worse."

 

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