Contact lenses like eye dressing: It is a discovery to cure eye lesions. Developed by Australian researchers, this lens has cells from the donor's eye tissue that can treat the surface of the eyes of those who use it.
Cells from donor and human larynx
Researchers at the Queensland Eye Institute use cells called mesenchymal cells (L-MSC) from a third party. These cells are placed across the eye using a special type of contact lens called the scleral lens. In terms of donor cell harvesting, Professor and author of the study, Damian Harkin, states that these are "easily accessible from tissues that are usually erased after systematic corneal transplants".
The lens will also consist of the amniotic membrane taken directly from the human placenta. It helps fight inflammation and promote healing. "Based on preliminary data, we believe donor cells release a variety of wound healing factors that promote correction of the eye's surface," says Damian Harkin.
Lenses with therapeutic properties
"This therapeutic lens will treat patients with" chronic conditions such as corneal ulcers and persistent internal impairments that have not responded to conventional therapies, "said Damien Harkin. In addition, the new treatment may be able to treat acute ocular lesions resulting from exposure to caustic chemicals, hot liquids, or excessive heat.
The problem, at present, lies in the amniotic membrane in which there are varying characteristics and are between donor tissue samples. This membrane is now imported from New Zealand, which delays treatment and increases its cost. "We suggest that a well-characterized bank tested for L-MSC donor cells will be a more reliable and cost-effective source of growth factors to repair the eye quickly," says Harkin.
Discovery to clinically confirm
Meanwhile, this lens is not commercialized. Clinical trials should be carried out to confirm its therapeutic merits and make it available to patients. However, Professor Damien Harkin is confident and hopes that this treatment will be available to patients in the coming years.
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