A novel transplant technique that delivers tissue to scarred cornea via synthetic biodegradable membrane has been approved for a first-in-man safety trial by the Indian Regulatory Authority, according to a press release from the University of Sheffield, U.K.
In the collaborative effort of the university and L.V. Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, India, funded by the Wellcome Trust, 10 patients with vision loss due to corneal injury will be treated with the novel technique beginning later this year, according to the release.
In the procedure, tissue containing corneal stem cells from the patient’s unaffected eye is attached to the membrane material, which is then applied to the corneal surface. New cells grow, forming a new corneal surface, and after a few weeks, the membrane dissolves.
“There are several other techniques being developed in this area, but the rationale behind our work was to make this treatment accessible for all patients in India and potentially worldwide,” Sheila MacNeil, Professor of Tissue Engineering in the University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, said in the release.