In two separate studies, scientists have developed methods to convert non-embryonic stem cells into eye cells that could be used to restore sight.
The research was presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) this week in Orlando.
In the first method, researchers converted cells taken from the front of a patient's eye into stem cells, which were then programmed to become nerve cells found in the back of the eye.
Abstract Title: Derivation, Characterization and Retinal Neural Induction of Human Tenon's -Derived iPS Cells
The second study involved introducing stem cells to a single growth factor, which caused them to develop into tissue resembling the developing eye.
Abstract Title: The formation of primitive ocular structures and stratified neural retina from human pluripotent stem cells
Both outcomes will play important roles toward generating sources of transplantable cells to replace damaged tissue in patients with impaired vision.