A team of transplant surgeons at the University of Pittsburgh have their eyes on a big goal – the first successful human eye transplant. It is a goal the researchers hope to achieve within a decade, plastic surgery assistant professor, Kia Washington highlighted.
“I’m hopeful that in 10 years we will be doing eye transplants in humans,” Ms Washington told the publication Stat. “There are people who are very sceptical, obviously, for obvious reasons. It is kind of a moonshot.”
Ms Washington and her team have been developing eye transplantation techniques in rats to prepare for such a feat. Earlier this year, she presented the results of these studies to the American Association of Plastic Surgeons Joint Meeting (May 19–22, New York).
The majority of these transplants were successful, with the eyes receiving normal blood flow and intraocular pressure.
International research into the promotion of nerve cell regeneration will also prove essential to the goal of an eye transplant, Ms Washington told Stat.