Over ten million patients suffer bilateral blindness due to corneal pathologies that cause the cornea to become opaque. The researchers have been working on the reconstruction of the ocular surface using bone marrow stem cells, which are grown on a matrix which reproduces the eye tissue and then implanted in the patient.
IBEC’s role in the research has been to develop functionalized biomaterials that support and stimulate stem cells growth to enable re-epithelization of the damaged cornea. These scaffolds can be sutured to the patient’s eye and will offer a temporary support to deliver the stem cells to the eye surface in order to regenerate it.
After six years of work, which has been led by the IOBA institute at the University of Valladolid, it is planned within the four-year timeframe of the new agreement to test the robustness of the trials, which have demonstrated promising results so far, with a view to achieving an introduction into clinical practice.
>> IBEC in the media: this story was covered on the EuropaPress and NCYT (Noticias de la Ciencia y la Tecnología) news sites last week: