Scientists grow human retinas and illuminate eye disease targets

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Retinal organoid at 291 days. Red and green cone cells are green in the photo, while blue cone cells are blue.

Scientists were able to grow human retinas from stem cells for 1 year, allowing them to mimic human fetal development of retinas and closely observe how color-detecting cells form.

Why it matters: The information they gathered could be used to prevent or treat eye diseases and disorders like glaucoma, macular degeneration, color blindness and eye problems from premature births, Johns Hopkins University scientists say in a new study published in Science Thursday.

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3D printed eye cells could one day cure blindness

Researchers have actually printed viable retina cells using an inkjet printer.

The ability to print up new, living versions of the damaged parts of your body is becoming more viable as a medical procedure, and cuts and scrapes aren’t the only maladies that medical 3D printing can help cure. Living, 3D printed retina cells could someday aid in curing many kinds of blindness.

 

 

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Scientists restore sight to blind mice by regenerating optic nerve

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Scientists restore vision to blind mice.

There are three blind men who have an inherited eye disorder that had destroyed the light-sensing cells of their retinas many years ago.  Now one of the blind men can walk around at night navigating by streetlight and headlights.  Another can read his own name.  And the third mean has been able to see his fiancée’s smile for the very first time.  All of this has been made possible by the retinal implants they have been fitted with.  The implants took over from the broken cells.  They sense incoming light by converting it into electrical impulses delivered to the brain.  They aren’t close to having 20/20 vision, but they have restored sight to people who have lived without it for years.

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Vision Could Be Improved By Injecting Semiconductor Specks Into Retinas

Vision Could Be Improved By Injecting Semiconductor Specks Into Retinas 

Retina

The idea of creating a bionic eye to assist people with seriously impaired vision is definitely exciting. But installing a silicon chip into a human eyeball to assist the retinas has some drawbacks, the least of which being that the chip itself can block light from falling on areas of the retina that are healthy and still working properly. So Jeffrey Olsen at the University of Colorado Hospital has come up with a different approach.

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Improved Retinal Implant Stimulates Neurons To Restore Sight

Improved Retinal Implant Stimulates Neurons To Restore Sight 
A new retinal implant sits mostly outside the eye. 

For many blind or partially sighted people, implants that stimulate healthy nerve cells connected to their retinas could help restore some normal vision. Researchers have been working on such implants since the 1980s but with only limited success. A major hurdle is making an implant that can stay in the eye for years without declining in performance or causing inflammation.

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