New research reveals a potential revolutionary way to treat eye injuries and prevent blindness – by softening the tissue hosting the stem cells which then helps repair wounds, inside the body.
The team discovered that the simple application of a tissue-softening enzyme, collagenase, prevents the loss of corneal stem cells following an injury and could prevent patients from losing their sight. It offers hope to almost 500,000 people a year who lose their sight due to chemical burns including acid attacks. The study, published today in Nature Communications and funded by the Medical Research Council shows that keeping corneal stem cells in a soft environment is fundamental for their reproduction, self-renewal, and ability to heal damaged tissue.
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