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A Journal on Ophthalmology
Minerva Oftalmologica 2007 December;49(4):145-71
Stem cells and the eye
Sarnicola V., Conti L., Toro P.
Ospedale Misericordia, Grosseto
In recent years, enormous scientific interest has been triggered by stem cells and regenerative medicine, a new branch of medicine that embodies therapeutic hopes for cases that cannot be resolved with drugs or classic surgery. In ophthalmology, particularly in conditions involving the surface of the eye, the identification of corneal limbal stem cells has led to a revolution in the therapeutic approach to certain pathologies which until that moment had been considered a cause of blindness. Surgical techniques have been developed and fine-tuned to stimulate and transplant limbal stem cells which today offer a concrete possibility for treatment in association with the development of new immuno-suppressor therapeutic regimes and new hopes for visual rehabilitation in severely challenged patients. In addition, the advances obtained in cell culture techniques would seem capable of improving the excellent results that have already been achieved.