Researchers in Australia have found a way to create corneal cells by growing them in the lab. Here is some information about these new man-made corneal transplants:
1.) The cells created were corneal endothelial cells, small cells on the back of the cornea which help draw water out of the eye, keeping the cornea clear and healthy.
2.) With age, a person's natural endothelial cells lose their efficacy, resulting in water entering the cornea, making the cornea cloudy and swollen. This is called Fuch's Endothelial Dystrophy and can result in decreased vision and even blindness.
3.) Surgical treatment for these cases has been a DSAEK or DMEK, which replaces these endothelial cells with donor tissue.
4.) The new man-made cells can be inserted into the back of the cornea, drawing water out of the cornea and biodegrading within two months.
5.) Testing is currently being done on animals only.