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Asia
Category:
Technology
Article type:
Informed

Important medical discovery of Taiwanese scientists

Region:
Asia
Category:
Technology
Article type:
Informed
Author/s:
By Pablo Pla
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It is a new technique for transplanting retinal cells with potential to cure macular degeneration, announced the director of the research team and Director of Basic Research at the Veterans General Hospital Taipei, Shih-hwa Chiou

A group of Taiwanese researchers announced the development of a new technique for transplanting retinal cells with the potential to cure macular degeneration due to aging.

"The method is being tested in pigs and offers a new approach for the treatment of macular degeneration, which affects millions of people," the head of the research team and director of Basic Research said today at a press conference at the General Hospital Taipei Veterans, Chiou Shih-hwa.

Related macular degeneration with age is a major cause of vision loss in people over 60 years and involves the loss of clarity in vision, which prevents activities such as reading and driving.

The new technique can replace existing drug treatments with injections into the eye used to halt the progression of the disease, but have limitations, Chiou said.

As the disease affects the macula, a part of the retina that allows you to see the details clearly, the Taiwanese team looking regenerate light receptor cells in the macula and retinal pigment epithelium, a layer of cells that protects and nourishes photoreceptor cells.

A US team is already conducting the second round of clinical trials in humans with transplantation of embryonic stem cells, but their method of injecting the cells in the retina has given mixed results, said the expert.

In Taiwan, is to generate blood stem cells, which can lead to any other type of cell in the body, and placed under the retina with a cannula ("stent") thinner than a hair.

"It's about doing something like plugging holes, but so it is uniform and injections can not achieve that result very well," said Chiou.

The Veterans Hospital team expects to begin clinical trials in people within two to three years.

traslation: Belén Zapata