The University of Melbourne–lead team of researchers have grown corneal cells on a layer of film that can be implanted in the eye to help the cornea heal itself. They have successfully restored vision in animal trials and are aiming to move to human trials next year. “The hydrogel film we have developed allows us to grow a layer of corneal cells in the laboratory,” says Berkay. “Then, we can implant that film on the inner surface of a patient’s cornea, within the eye, via a very small incision.” Once in place the new cells restore the cornea’s vital water-pumping activity, so that the cornea once more becomes transparent.
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