In the medical field, stem cells have a lot of application. Stem cells are the basic cells that can differentiate into other type of cells. Scientists in Japan have treated cornea using stem cells for the first time. These stem cells are created by reprogramming adult cells. This process enables cells to develop into any other type human cell such as nerve cell, corneal cell and liver cell. These cells are known as induced Pluripdent Stem (iPS). Cell reprogramming is the process of reverting matured, specialized cells into iPS cells.
The stem cells in cornea are responsible for refreshing and repairing when necessary. Damages in them leads to corneal blindness. A surgery was conducted in Japan in which reprogrammed stem cells were used. In the surgery, the researcher’s implanted thin sheets of the iPS cells into the patient’s eye. After the surgery the person’s vision is improved.
Japan is the frontier country working on iPS technology. It is proposed that because some of the genes and viral vectors used to insert them have the potential to cause cancer therefore iPS cells are not clinically useful. But now with the success of this surgery there is a scope. If this technology succeeds, there will be a huge development in the medical field. The way of doing surgeries will absolutely change and their complexity can be reduced.