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Adult Retinal Stem Cells

Schepens Eye Research Institute
posted on 03/04/2009

A non-embryonic self-propagating neuronal stem cell line has been developed as well as a culture medium for growing and maintaining the cells. The cells can be harvested from pre-retinal membranes of eyes with congenital ocular defects during conventional vitreoretinal surgery, a procedure that does not harm the retina. Under specific conditions, the cells differentiate into mature cells and express markers consistent with mature neurons and retinal elements including the presence of neurofilaments, several surface receptors and sodium and potassium channels, all characteristic of functioning neuronal cells. The adult stem-cells differentiate in the eyes and can be used in allogeneic transplantation in cell-based therapy of retinal disorders (no evidence of graft vs. host disease). The cells are currently being transplanted into retina of mice with retinal degeneration. The new adult retinal stem cell line: does not require the destruction of the retina for its collection, differentiates into nature neuronal cells in vitro and in the eye and eludes the ethical controversy and government restrictions on embryonic stem cells.

Innovation Details

File Number: SERI-219 

Other Information:

M.D. Kameran Lashkari

Mary Chatterton, Director of Corporate Alliances.

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February 11, 2009

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