Updated on 1 February 2016
Tokyo: Corneal endothelial precursor cell transplantation methodology, employing a Nanocomposite gel sheet has been awarded a Japanese patent to Chennai-based Nichi-in Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM) and their Japanese collaborators.
"This patent, when licensed to interested institutes will help large number of patients suffering from standalone corneal endothelial diseases recover from visual morbidities," said Yoshio Morozumi, Chairman of Nichi-In from Tokyo, Japan.
"Our finding gives a new hope to such patients, as it is now considered that there is no treatment available for regenerating the damaged corneal endothelial cells, except to do a corneal transplantation either fully or partially, which again is marred by the shortage of donor-corneas," he added.
Human cornea has five layers among which three are functionally vital. One such layer, the corneal endothelium which is the inner most layer, when damaged, during cataract surgery or other reasons such as aging, physical injury or infection, leads to significant jeopardy of the vision.
Almost 50% of the patients, who require a corneal transplant, have standalone corneal endothelial disease. Corneal endothelium is considered to be one of the most fragile and sensitive tissues in the human body which is very difficult to be cultured outside the body.