Donor Cells Implanted for Macular Degeneration

Researchers at the Riken Institute in Japan completed the first clinical trial involving the transplantation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) from donors.

Five patients received the donated cells.

Artificially grown retinal cells were made from donor iPS cells and were used to treat the patients suffering from wet age-related macular degeneration. The first transplantation was done in March 2017.

Researchers reprogrammed skin cells from an anonymous donor, which is more cost and time effective than taking iPS cells from the patients themselves. Four of the five patients receiving the transplants have maintained their level of visual acuity since the transplant and the fifth one actually experienced an improvement in their vision.

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