Dr. Nadia Zakaria at the University of Antwerp’s Center for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine has been working on a 3D printing method to create fully functioning human corneas using autologous mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs]. Patients require corneal transplants if the cornea is damaged due to severe infection, injury, or clouding due to genetic disorders such as Fuchs Dystrophy. Current corneal transplants come from donors, but the number of available transplants is scarce. Therefore, patients receiving the transplant likely do not receive one that matches their exact eye shape and curvature, further exacerbating the risk of rejection of transplanted tissue. Dr. Zakaria is utilizing a collagen scaffold to grow layers of the cornea using mesenchymal stem cells [the same type of stem cells found in teeth], and the main goal is to achieve the exact clarity and thickness of a fully-fledged human cornea.
“It all looks very promising. Besides the advantages of customization, there is biocompatibility because each graft could be made from the patient’s own mesenchymal or corneal stem cells, with no risk of rejection or disease contamination. In addition, although producing tissue is not going to be cheap, additive manufacturing reduces the costs and produces very little wastage,” says Dr. Zakaria.
As regenerative engineering progresses, we believe the best stem cells to use in emerging treatments will be the patient’s own [autologous stem cells] as this negates the need to find a suitable donor and eliminates the chances of rejection of the transplanted tissue. To learn more about banking your own valuable stem cells to insure your family’s future health, visit StemSave or call 877-783-6728 (877-StemSave) today.
The Future of Regenerative Medicine is Now™
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