UCL in Rod Breakthrough

University College London has reported success in the transplant of human cells into rats that have lost their vision.The cells were farmed from the donations of deceased members of the public who left their bodies to advance medical science upon their passing.The cells harvested for the study were an adult stem cell named Muller glia which are able to transform into the specialised cells in the back of the eyeball. They were effectively morphed into rod cells in the laboratory which were then injected into the backs of the eyes of the rats where they then began to detect light and partially restore their sight.Carrying out brain scans on the rats that received donations showed that half of the brains electrical signals were recovered after the procedure.While the team of researchers claim this is an important step in the science of restorative sight, the results currently would only allow a better quality of life but not quite an improvement to allow a patient to read.


With human trials still at least three years away, the transplanted " charmed" Muller glia may assist with AMD or retinitis pigmentosa.