Medical Breakthrough giving the gift of sight

Published: 15 August 2016

eye

A group of researchers have had a major breakthrough in the cure for blindness by developing a new treatment for corneal disease.

The University of Melbourne led team have grown corneal cells on a layer of film, which is then implanted into the eye to help the cornea heal itself.

Berkay Ozcelik, who developed the film said, “We believe that our new treatment performs better than a donated cornea, and we hope to eventually use the patient’s own cells, reducing the risk of rejection”.

The cornea is the transparent layer at the front of the eye which needs to remain healthy. Factors such as trauma, disease and aging can reduce the number of cells, leading to swelling, vision deterioration

and eventually blindness.

The cells are not capable of repairing themselves, with only available treatment being donor corneas . This revolutionary breakthrough which could restore eyesight for millions of sufferers of corneal disease,

has successfully restored vision in animals, “Further trials are required but we hope to see the treatment trialled in patients next year.”