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Eyes Without a Face

Stem Cell Research and Corneal Implants



Author:

Kari A. Mergenhagen
Infectious Disease
James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center
kari.mergenhagen2@va.gov

Abstract:

Although blind since childhood as the result of an accident, Lucy has never given up hope that one day she might see again. So, when her ophthalmologist tells her about a study being conducted at the University Medical Center that might help her regain some sight, Lucy is eager to sign on. This case explores the use of adult stem cells and amniotic membranes to restore vision after traditional transplants have failed. It would be appropriate for students of biology, physiology, and health-related fields.

Objectives:
  • Appreciate the potential for stem cell research and treatment to improve the quality of life for people with blindness.
  • Understand the general difference between adult and embryonic stem cells.
  • Gain knowledge of the function of stem cells in daily life activities.
  • Learn about the role stem cells play in replacement of aged and damaged cells.
  • Understand the role of the amniotic membrane in corneal transplants.
  • Realize that stem cell treatments and research are in their infancy.
Keywords: Cornea; corneal blindness; corneal transplant; stem cell; embryonic stem cell; adult stem cell; limbus; amniotic membrane; keratolimbal allograft, autologous graft; keratoplasties
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Directed
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Medicine (General)   Physiology  
Date Posted: 03/24/03
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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