Researchers have found a better and a cheaper way to restore human sight by implanting a contact lens containing stem cells that will repair the human cornea.
Scientists from the University of Sheffield hope that the biodegradable implant disc's stem cells will multiply in the eye, thus rebuilding the transparent layer on the front of the eye, known as the cornea, the degradation of which is one of the major causes of blindness in the world, a study published in Acta Biomaterialia journal revealed.
The clinical trials are expected to begin in India as "the overall treatment using these discs will not only be better than current treatments, it will be cheaper as well," Frederick Claeyssens from University of Sheffield said.
A cure for a common form of deafness known as auditory neuropathy is a step closer, after researchers from the University of Sheffield in the UK used human embryonic stem cells to repair a similar type of hearing loss in gerbils.
Using gerbils and human embryonic stem cells, Rivolta and colleagues describe how they repaired an important part of that link: the auditory nerve.
"We have the proof of concept that we can use human embryonic stem cells to repair the damaged ear," Rivolta told Nature News.
As well as proving that stem cells can repair damaged hearing, the researchers hope the breakthrough will lead to new treatments.
"More work needs to be done, but now we know it's possible," said Rivolta.