Researchers engineer wisdom teeth stem cells to treat corneal scarring

February 23, 2015 2:49 PM

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Researchers engineer wisdom teeth stem cells to treat corneal scarring

Corneal disease causes nearly 10 percent of blindness cases worldwide, and the condition is typically treated with donor corneas. But researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have discovered that stem cells from the dental pulp of wisdom teeth can be manipulated to form cells of the eye’s cornea— a finding that may provide an easier procedure to repair corneal scarring.

In the study, published Monday in the journal STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, ophthalmologists turned dental pulp from a routine third molar, or wisdom tooth, into corneal stromal cells called keratocytes, which have the same embryonic origin.

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