A new study has found the use and transplantation of stem cells in corneal wound healing to improve the healing process and benefit patients, researchers report.
Researchers at Cedars Sinai Medical Center found that by using corneal stem cells they could more effectively treat corneal injuries from burns, abrasions, contact lens problems, insufficient tear production, infections and other conditions.
Corneal wound healing often can be delayed, incomplete or excessive and is a significant clinical concern for physicians, researchers say.
The cornea, the outermost surface of the eye, has three main types of cells -- the stratified surface epithelium, the stromal keratocytes, and the innermost single-layered endothelial cells. All have similarities and differences in the way they heal wounds.
The study, published in the July edition of Stem Cells, found that stem cells are vital in corneal epithelial, stromal, and endothelial wound healing in disease, injury and postsurgical corneal wound healing.
Corneal epithelial stem cell transplantation is successful at ensuring healing of serious injuries to the cornea including burns and stromal and endothelial stem cells can produce similar results.
"The advances in transplant techniques and the range of available cell sources that can be used to optimize the treatment of aberrant corneal wound healing can give reassurance to patients with corneal injuries that preserving vision may be possible in the near future," the researchers wrote in the study.