A new method of adult stem cell growth, designed in the Area of Cellular Therapy of the University Clinic (University of Navarra), has demonstrated its efficacy for its capacity to grow cornea stem cells. So Ana Fernndez Hortelano, ophthalmologist at the Hospital demonstrated on applying the growth technique in treating diseases of the cornea, using stem cells, in 70 test animals (rabbits). The aim of the procedure was to regain the damaged epithelium and thus restore transparency to the cornea.
In concrete, the thesis defended by doctor Fernndez Hortelano at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Navarra, proves the therapeutic efficiency in using corneal stem cells in patients with pathologies of the cornea, such as caustications or ocular herpes, by using stem cells from a healthy contralateral eye. The technique is being currently applied to patients with satisfactory results.
The research has two essential parts. On the one hand, it describes the design of a new method of cell growth and, on the other, explains the clinical application of the procedure. Growth in two stages
The research undertaken by the ophthalmologist has shown that, from a small biopsy sample, the new growth technique enables the growth of the number of stem cells thus obtained to the point of obtaining sufficient for the treatment to be effective. The cell sample is taken from the limb of the healthy eye the ocular structure responsible for the transparency of the cornea.
The importance of this growth method lies in the fact that it enables the characterisation of the cells obtained, i.e. determining the quantity and viability of the units to be used.
The method developed combines culture on a plastic chip with that of an amniotic membrane one. The novelty of the technique focuses on the first stage where the plastic chip is used. The fragment of tissue obtained from the healthy eye divides into smaller fractions which are grown
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