Stem cells have proven themselves to be the next great healer in treating deadly and debilitating diseases. While research has been restricted, their efficacy is well known. The concept that one's own body, through the use of stem cells, can cure and heal damage to the tissues; and therefore improve function is a medical breakthrough of monumental proportion.

Delivery of these stem cells to the affected organs is always an issue that must be considered as much as the selection of the cells themselves. There must be an effective method to deposit these stem cells in the least invasive maner; thus minimizing damage to the body, target organ and the stem cells themselves.

While the eye, and the cornea in particular, are external, there still must be a method to introduce the cells in such a way as to minimize any structural alteration to the eye. Researchers at the University of New South Wales have done just that. They used a standard soft contact lens to culture a patient's stem cells. This contact lens was then placed directly on to the individual's eye permitting the stem cells to migrate directly on to the eye. The contact lens was left on the eye for 10 days which was the time required for the stem cells to repair the damage to the corneal tissue. This technique is unique in that it does not require foreign human or animal products and is totally non invasive. It is inexpensive and requires only a small amount of the patient's own ocular surface tissue.

Delivery systems such as this may prove to be the best way to heal damaged tissue and reduce the high cost of this method of therapy.

Author's Bio: 

This article is written by Dr. Jay Stockman, contributing consultant to Vision Update. Dr. Jay Stockman has co-managed a significant number of refractive surgery patients. Advise, and medical questions can be directed to New York Vision Associates