Log In
Sunday 25th August 2019

Stem cell retinal implants are safe

24th January 2012

A trial at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London has started in order to test the results of implanting stem cells in the eyes of patients with eye disorders.

stem cell research

Operations carried out on two patients in America involving retinal implants has shown that the procedure is safe, researchers said.

The operation involves taking healthy cells from an embryo which are then made to grow in the retina at the back of the eye.

The researchers think that the procedure could lead to improved sight in patients who have conditions such as Stargardt's disease, which cause blindness in young people. 

The researchers told The Lancet: "The ultimate therapeutic goal will be to treat patients earlier in the disease processes, potentially increasing the likelihood of photoreceptor and central visual rescue."

 Dr Dusko Ilic, Senior Lecturer in Stem Cell Science at Kings College London, said that the early stages of the treatment did not necessarily mean a cure for blindness was possible.


"We should keep in mind that people are not rats. The number one priority of initial clinical trial is always patient safety."

"If everyone expects that the blind patients will see after being treated with human embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelium, even if the treatment ends up being safe (which is what Advanced Cell Technology are trying to determine in this trial), they risk being unnecessarily disappointed."

UK stem cell expert Chris Mason added: "We do not have a complete answer yet. But it is a valuable next step."


Share this page


There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!

Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Mayden - Innovative cloud-based web development for the healthcare sector
© Mayden Foundation 2019