'Hydrogels' boost ability of stem cells to restore eyesight

15 May 2015

A team have developed a new gel-like biomaterial that is able to keep cells alive and help them better integrate into tissue.

According to two initial trials, this could potentially reverse blindness and help the brain better recover from stroke. It is part of a wider research drive that is trying to devise new ways of repairing nerve damage caused by a disease or injury.

The team, led by professors Molly Shoichet and Derek van der Kooy from the University of Toronto, covered stem cells in a "hydrogel" that boosted their healing abilities when transplanted into both the eye and the brain. 

Published in Stem Cell Reports, the research holds great therapeutic promise as it demonstrates a way of transplanting stem cells successfully.

Stem cells are the focus of many studies as they can become any cell type in the body, meaning they have great regeneration potential. However, they often have trouble thriving in their new environment.

This study shows that hydrogels can do more than just hold stem cells together; they can directly promote stem cell survival and integration. 

Posted by Phillip Briggs

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Image Credit: Jupiter

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:

or

Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.

or

Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...

Categories

Ophthalmology

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)