Medical researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have cultured stem cells on a standard therapeutic contact lens to restore sight to sufferers of blinding corneal disease. The contact lens was placed onto the damaged corneas of three patients for 10 days, during which the cells were able to re-colonize the surface of the damaged eyes.

The procedure is totally simple and cheap, says lead author of the study, UNSWs Nick Di Girolamo, Ph.D. Unlike other techniques, it requires no foreign human or animal products, only the patients own serum, and is completely non-invasive ... All thats involved is harvesting a minute amountless than a millimeterof tissue from the ocular surface.

One day, the technique may be used in other parts of the eye, or even in other organs.

Vol. No: 146:07Issue: 7/15/2009