Damage to the retina has so far proved irreversible, but stem-cell therapies could hold the key to restoring sight.
Nature Outline |
When the retina is damaged, vision is affected considerably. Unfortunately, for the hundreds of millions of people worldwide with retinal degeneration, this light-sensing part of the eye has so far proved impossible to repair. However, as researchers refine their ability to manipulate stem cells, hopes of a solution are being raised. Whether by growing fresh cells and then transplanting them into the retina, or by building entire retinas from scratch, the future is looking clearer.
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The ways in which lost vision might be restored are coming into focus as researchers move closer to recreating the eye’s most complex structure — the retina — in the laboratory.
Vision impairment affects more than 285 million people worldwide. Due to the accessibility of the eye, ophthalmic research is at the forefront of advancing innovative therapies.