Blindness and brain tissue injuries are two of the most difficult illnesses to treat. Once you are blind, unless some miracles will happen to you, you remain blind until you die. It’s the same with brain tissue lesion according to U of T Engineering News. There’s no known cure for both. Yes, both injuries are incurable until now.
Researchers from the University of Toronto have found a way to treat both without having to resort to surgery. The study which was published in the Stem Cell Reports just recently this week was led by 3 university professors which include University of Toronto professors Molly Shoichet, Derek van der Kooy, and Cindi Morshead.
The team knew how sensitive stem cells can get, so what they did was to put them inside hydrogels which served to cushion the stem cells while they are being moved. They easily get damaged and won’t be of any good once they do. They should be in perfect condition when t applied to the eyes or brain to get the desired results.
A hydrogel works pretty similarly like bubble warps. They see to it that the stem cells are well preserved and well protected. With this in place, the stem cells can work with very high accuracy and perfect precision.
The hydrogels were developed by Dr. Dr. Shoichet together with the team, many years back while working on another project. The present research is an offshoot of the previous one where in a study was made on how hydrogels can help ensure that the stem cells are damaged free and is capable of being synthesized.
By using only Petri dishes, doctors will have an easy time in growing stem cells but the difficulty lies during their integration into the patient’s body. Doctors are confident that with the presence of hydrogels, stem cells can have wider application to treat a variety of illnesses with positive results.
It’s even possible that later they can grow whole organs to replace the sickly ones. Organ donation from other people won’t be needed anymore.