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Light-sensing cones from human stem cells restored vision in mice


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Retinal cone photoreceptors derived from human stem cells to restore vision in mice with advanced retinal degeneration.

“If you live to be old enough, you’ll have some form of macular degeneration,” - Robin Ali, lead author of the study.

Developed two variants of human cones: one derived from embryonic stem cells and a control type.

Mice were bred to be immunodeficient.

Injected functional cones into the retinas of 32 mouse eyes, and the aberrant cones into another 23 eyes.

Mice with functional human cones responded to light during an eye test.

Mice that received functional cones chose to retreat to a dark room when given the option.

Mice with deficient cones, by contrast, remained in the light for much of the time.

Capacity for manufacturing cones at scale does not yet exist, Ali is confident to produce enough cones for a human clinical trial.

Study by King's College London and University of Sydney published in Cell Reports.

Will be looking to run a human clinical trial in the next few years

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Cell Reports

Journal publishing research papers across a broad range of disciplines within the life sciences.

King's College London

Public research university

Robin Ali

Professor of Human Molecular Genetics at King's College London

The University of Sydney

Australia's leading higher education and research University.