Imagine a patient. Let's call him Mrs. N. To her of 60 years, she suffers cystscornea, or keratopathy of the eye. This is a serious diseasecornea.
If this disease is left untreated, sooner or later the patient will lose sight.To do this, she is given an operation to transplant the cornea.
Unfortunately, her vision after that does not improve. To do this, she is assigned a new surgical procedure.Mrs. N. it is necessary to wait for the appearance of a suitable donor.
Today, several million patients are waiting for a suitable donor for corneal transplantation.
There are very few such donors. Also, do not forget that with age our cornea grows old and its structure undergoes some changes.
Often, blindness is directly related to the state of our cornea, because on the surface of this part of the human eye is a huge number of nerve endings.
For several years experts are looking for an alternative solution to this problem.Their goal is to get corneas, for which there is no need for donation. Also, scientists want to get corneas with a minimal probability of their rejection by the human body.
Is there a solution to this problem? Yes. So, the biomedical of the University in Melbourne (Australia) Berka Oseltikom developed corneas based on hydrogel.
Thanks to this development, our mistress N. canCount on a new cornea in an excellent condition, which perfectly suits.For this, a woman will not have to wait for a donor. Thus, her dream to restore her vision will become a reality..
In the continuation of our article, we will discuss this subject in more detail.
Corneal from a hydrogel - the decision of the future for treatment of various types of blindness
In order to understand the importance of this new medical development, you need to know about what functions the cornea of the human eye performs.
- The cornea is the outer part of our eye.
- It protects our eyes from the ingress of microorganisms, dust and other elements of the external environment.
- Thanks to her our eye is able to focus on various objects.When the cornea hardens or loses its elasticity, we cease to distinguish the objects around us.
- A healthy cornea is moist and transparent.Unfortunately, age-related changes and diseases (for example, corneal cysts, which were mentioned at the beginning of the article) destroy her tissues. This leads to a violation of the functions of the cornea.
Cornea that return vision
When it comes to donating, we tend to immediately imagine such important organs as the heart, liver, kidneys ....
- At the same time, not everyone of us knows that corneal transplantation can restore vision to blind patients. This is a real miracle.
- Thus, progress in this area is a real sensation.
- Patients now no longer need to wait for the death of a suitable donor for corneal transplant.It happens that their body rejects the transplant, which forces them to re-enter the queue for waiting for the next operation.
Corneals from the hydrogel are not rejected by patients, because they are developed on the basis of the mother cells of the patients themselves.Due to this, the patient's immune system does not perceive them as a foreign element.
How did such a sensational discovery become possible?
Now we will tell you about it.
What are cornea from hydrogel?
To develop these corneas, you need to perform the following process:
- Under laboratory conditions, the endothelial cells of the cornea are grown on the hydrogel layer.To do this, use the patient's DNA samples. This makes it possible to avoid further rejection of the material.
- These cells are grown on a hydrogel layer until they are transplanted into the patient's eye.For this, the patient is made a microscopic incision, which is practically invisible.
- New cells restore the supply of the cornea with oxygen and water.This allows you to always keep the new cornea moist and transparent.
- The hydrogel layer is thinner than the human hair (50 microns).After a few months, it dissolves by itself, as the corneal cells no longer need its help and are able to cope with their functions on their own.
The goal of scientists is to obtain a permanent cornea that would not be rejected by the human body and not perceived by our immune system as a foreign body.
Prospects for the future
As of today, a significant part of laboratory experiments has been completed successfully.Therefore, many specialists already consider the new method to be an effective method of treating various types of blindness.
The head of the research group, Berkai Oszelik, remains a realist.
- Within two months, the doctors will begin the first operations of patients.The entire scientific community is looking forward to it, waiting for new staggering results.
- Growing corneal cells, no doubt, can restore the lost hope to millions of patients with corneal diseases, for which the world around has become twilight and full of gloomy shadows.
This operation will restore this fine structure of the human eye without the need to resort to donation.
We will wait for new information about the performed operations and we hope that their result will be positive for the patients.