Two studies presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology in Orlando, FL, have proposed methods to differentiate autologous non-embryonic stem cells into various eye cells that can be utilized to replace damaged tissue in patients with impaired vision. In one study the researchers converted stem cells in the front of the eye to nerve cells in the back of the eye. In the second, stem cells were introduced to specific growth factors that promoted their development into eye tissue. Continue reading
Advances in regenerative medicine, spearheaded by AFIRM [Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine], are restoring function to wounded soldiers. A consortium of research centers is developing techniques to grow body parts, such as ears, bones, skin and genitals. AFIRM is directing 300 million dollars to develop a broad array of regenerative treatments that will impact treatment options for both wounded soldiers and the general population. Many of the treatments are now entering the clinical [human] testing phase with the prospect of growing organs and tissue ‘on demand’ utilizing the patient’s own stem cells on the horizon.