|Photo from en.wikipedia.org|
Corneal blindness affects millions of people worldwide, and is usually treated by transplanting donated corneas. However, shortages of donor tissue and problems with tissue rejection make alternative sources of corneal tissue extremely exciting.
In the Pittsburgh research, scientists obtained ordinary human wisdom tooth dental pulp and engineered the pulp stem cells into corneal stromal cells called "keratocytes." The team then injected the keratocytes into the corneas of healthy mice, where they integrated without any signs of rejection.
The next stage of the study will determine whether this technique actually works to correct corneal scarring in animals. This is yet another groundbreaking development involving amazing teeth.