Research to Prevent Blindness

Hope Through Research: Cornea

RPB support is leading to exciting discoveries in many areas of cornea research including the following:

Advances in understanding corneal wound repair

  • Identification of several proteins and enzymes involved in corneal wound healing could lead to new therapies for corneal disorders. (Abstract 1, Abstract 2. Abstract 3) [one link wasn't active]
  • Discovery of stem cells in the cornea is leading to therapies that target corneal scarring and could aid in the development of artificial corneas. (Abstract 1, Abstract 2)


 Improvements in corneal transplantation

  • Researchers are gaining new insight into why the body's immune system rejects corneal transplants. (Abstract 1, Abstract 2, Abstract 3)
  • Artificial corneas help treat blindness in children at high risk for rejecting traditional donor cornea transplants. (Abstract) [this link isn't active, delete?]
  • Transplanting only surface cells or one layer of the cornea rather than entire cornea appears to reduce rejection risk and other complications.  (Abstract) [one link wasn't active and was removed]
  • A new synthetic cornea is under development and could reduce risks associated with traditional artificial corneas. (Abstract)

Advances in drug therapies for corneal diseases

  • Identification of a protein (called thymosin beta 4) that regulates corneal responses to injury and inflammation could lead to new drug therapies. (Abstract)
  • New treatments and ways to deliver drugs for corneal fungal infections are improving effectiveness. (Abstract 1, Abstract 2)
  • Insights into how the cornea heals following chemical burns are leading to new therapies. (Abstract 1 Abstract 2) [deleted broken links and repeated link]

Improved treatments for cornea disorders

  • A special blade that uses electromagnetic energy could improve safety of corneal surgery (Abstract)
  • New cells attached to special contact lenses could replace some surgeries for treating corneal defects. (Abstract) [link broken, delete?]
  • Researchers are getting closer to using gene therapy for corneal diseases. (Abstract)
  • An adhesive that binds wound edges together successfully heals corneal wounds without surgery. (Abstract) [link broken, delete?]
  • A replacement tear secretion system is in development for dry eye-patients with damaged tear-producing glands.
  • Increasing intake of dietary omega-3 fatty acids could reduce dry eye risk in women.
  • Insertion of a plastic ring to reshape the cornea safely and effectively corrects nearsightedness, providing the first reversible, adjustable alternative to laser surgery. (Abstract)



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