A team of British researchers has reported that injections of light-sensing cells into the eye of totally blind mice can restore their lost vision.
The team from the University of Oxford suggested that their research closely resembles the treatments for the patients with degenerative eye disease, though it needs more serious study.
The researchers studied a group of mice with a complete lack of light-sensing photoreceptor cells in their retinas, those ones that were even unable to distinguish the difference between light and dark.
According to the findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, the mice were injected by precursor cells which would develop into the building blocks of a retina once inside the eye.
After two weeks, a retina was formed and the entire light-sensitive layer was reconstructed.
“The study was like restoring a whole computer screen rather than repairing individual pixels," said Professor Robert MacLaren from the University of Oxford.
The mice were examined through passing different tests such as observing their pupil’s response to light and scanning their brain’s processes of received visual information.
“The findings are important as they look at the most clinically relevant and severe case of blindness,” Professor Pete Coffee from the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London said.
The experts have stressed that early results suggest the technique is safe but reliable results will take several years.