Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Petri dish lens' gives hope for new eye treatments

Date:
January 31, 2013
Source:
Monash University
Summary:
A cure for congenital sight impairment caused by lens damage is closer following new research. Scientists in Australia are closer to growing parts of the human eye in the lab. They have, for the first time, derived and purified lens epithelium -- the embryonic tissue from which the lens of the eye develops. The purity of the cells paves the way for future applications in regenerative medicine.

Eye. Scientists are closer to growing parts of the human eye in the lab. They have, for the first time, derived and purified lens epithelium -- the embryonic tissue from which the lens of the eye develops.
Credit: IKO / Fotolia

A cure for congenital sight impairment caused by lens damage is closer following research by scientists at Monash University.

Associate Professor Tiziano Barberi and Dr Isabella Mengarelli from the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University are closer to growing parts of the human eye in the lab. They have, for the first time, derived and purified lens epithelium -- the embryonic tissue from which the lens of the eye develops. The purity of the cells paves the way for future applications in regenerative medicine.

Further, the researchers caused these precursor cells to differentiate further into lens cells, providing a platform to test new drugs on human tissue in the lab.

Pluripotent stem cells have the ability to become any cell in the human body including, skin, blood and brain matter. Once the stem cells have begun to differentiate, the challenge for researchers is to control the process and produce only the desired, specific cells.

Using a technology known as fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS), Associate Professor Barberi and his team were able to identify the precise combination of protein markers expressed in the lens epithelium that enabled them to isolate those cells from the rest of the cultures. Most markers are common to more than one type of cell, making it challenging to determine the exact mix of markers unique to the desired cells.

Associate Professor Barberi said this breakthrough would eventually help cure visual impairment caused by congenital cataracts or severe damage to the lens from injury through lens transplants.

"The lens has, to some extent, the ability to heal well following surgical intervention. However, with congenital cataracts, the fault is wired into the DNA, so the lens will re-grow with the original impairment. This problem is particularly prevalent in developing countries," he said.

Combined with advances in producing pluripotent stem cells from fully-differentiated adult cells, the research will also progress treatments for eye diseases.

"In the future, we will be able to take adult skin cells, for example, and turn back the clock to produce stem cells. From there, using processes like we have developed for lens epithelium, we will be able to produce diseased cells -- an invaluable asset for medical research," Associate Professor Barberi said.

The researchers will now focus on creating a lens more closely resembling a human eye in the lab.

"The lens cells that we created in the petri dish are organised differently to those in a human eye. The next challenge is mimicking nature more perfectly," Associate Professor Barberi said.

Published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine, the study was partly funded by the Australian Research Council.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Monash University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. I. Mengarelli, T. Barberi. Derivation of Multiple Cranial Tissues and Isolation of Lens Epithelium-Like Cells From Human Embryonic Stem Cells. Stem Cells Translational Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.5966/sctm.2012-0100

Cite This Page:

Monash University. "'Petri dish lens' gives hope for new eye treatments." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130131095232.htm>.
Monash University. (2013, January 31). 'Petri dish lens' gives hope for new eye treatments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130131095232.htm
Monash University. "'Petri dish lens' gives hope for new eye treatments." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130131095232.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins