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Post Info TOPIC: Limbus-derived Stem Cells to Treat Corneal Damage


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Posts: 397
Date: Thu Oct 5 10:46 PM, 2017
Limbus-derived Stem Cells to Treat Corneal Damage

Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone out there has had any direct experience with (or any knowledge of) stem cell treatment for Kerotoconus/ damaged corneas? Stem cell treatment seems to be the quackery flavour of the mouth for healing everything from autism to baldness but this corneal treatment seems to have some scientific merit. 

The following article I found was particularily interesting as it purports to be non-surgical:

"... stem cells were collected from tiny biopsies in the limbus, an area of the eye between the cornea and sclera - the white part - of the undamaged eye in the mice. Those cells were replicated in a laboratory, and then incorporated into a gel of fibrin, a protein found in blood clots and commonly used as a surgical adhesive. The gel was spread on the damaged cornea, regenerating a clear window to the eye within four weeks".

I know that certain surgical stem cell treatments are already being used to treat patients, such as Holoclar: “This graft of epithelium – Holoclar®, looks like a kind of contact lens. It is transplanted into the patient and provides a long-term transparent cornea and full recovery of visual acuity, without causing any rejection reaction, because it consists of cells of the patient him/herself”, I'd love to hear anyones views on the validity of these treatments.



Senior Member

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Posts: 103
Date: Sat Jun 6 6:57 AM, 2020

It has its uses but not in Keratoconus out-right. Things have moved forward from when you first posted about it.

Holoclar is a stem-cell treatment used in the eye to replace damaged cells on surface (epithelium) of the cornea, the transparent layer in front of the eye covering the iris (the coloured part).

It is used in adult patients with moderate to severe limbal stem-cell deficiency caused by burns, including chemical burns, to the eyes. Patients with this condition do not have enough limbal stem cells which normally act as a regeneration system, replenishing the outer corneal cells when they get damaged and when they age.

Holoclar is a type of advanced therapy product called a ‘tissue engineered product’. It consists of cells taken from the patient’s limbus (at the edge of the cornea) and then grown in a laboratory so that they can be used to repair the damaged corneal surface.

Because the number of patients with limbal stem-cell deficiency due to burns to the eyes is low, the disease is considered ‘rare’, and Holoclar was designated an ‘orphan medicine’ (a medicine used in rare diseases) on 7 November 2008.


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