Washington: Scientists at Monash University are closer to growing parts of the human eye in the lab and developing a cure for congenital sight impairment caused by lens damage.Associate Professor Tiziano Barberi and Dr Isabella Mengarelli from the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University have, for the first time, derived and purified lens epithelium - the embryonic tissue from which the lens of the eye develops. The purity of the cells paves the way for future applications in regenerative medicine.Further, the researchers caused these precursor cells to differentiate further into lens cells, providing a platform to test new drugs on human tissue in the lab.Pluripotent stem cells have the ability to become any cell in the human body including, skin, blood and brain matter. Once the stem cells have begun to differentiate, the challenge for researchers is to control the process and produce only the desired, specific cells.
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