Special Issue "Stem Cells in Eye Research and Ophthalmology—Current Advances and Future Directions"

A special issue of Medicines (ISSN 2305-6320). This special issue belongs to the section "Stem Cell Investigation and Regenerative Medicine".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jeffrey N. Weiss
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Coral Ridge Medical Center, 821 Coral Ridge Drive, Coral Springs, FL 33065, USA
Interests: clinical research; retina; stem cells
Dr. Steven Levy
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
MD Stem Cells, 3 Sylvan Road South, Westport, CT 06880, USA
Interests: clinical research; stem cells; ophthalmology; neurology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Understanding of stem cells and their roles in ocular physiology, cellular interaction, and tissue repair in the eye continue to intrigue researchers. Concomittantly, clinical research using stem cells in ophthalmology is establishing stem cell therapy as an increasingly important means of ameliorating ophthalmic disease and vision loss.

This Special Issue will offer basic, preclinical, and clinical articles for the readers’ review and to demonstrate that stem cells and their products such as exosomes and extracellular vesicles offer unmet research opportunities and new hope to patients suffering from blindness.

Dr. Jeffrey N. Weiss
Dr. Steven Levy
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Medicines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • retina
  • optic nerve
  • extracellular vesicles
  • EV
  • bone marrow stem cells
  • mesenchymal stem cells
  • neural regeneration

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Article
Stem Cell Ophthalmology Treatment Study (SCOTS): Bone Marrow-Derived Stem Cells in the Treatment of Stargardt Disease
Medicines 2021, 8(2), 10; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicines8020010 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2378
Abstract
Background: Stargardt Disease is the most common inherited macular degeneration, typically resulting in progressive central vision loss and legal blindness at an early age. We report regarding 34 eyes with Stargardt Disease treated in the Stem Cell Ophthalmology Treatment Study (SCOTS and SCOTS2). [...] Read more.
Background: Stargardt Disease is the most common inherited macular degeneration, typically resulting in progressive central vision loss and legal blindness at an early age. We report regarding 34 eyes with Stargardt Disease treated in the Stem Cell Ophthalmology Treatment Study (SCOTS and SCOTS2). Methods: Autologous bone marrow was processed, separating the stem cell fraction which was provided Arms using retrobulbar, subtenons, intravitreal or subretinal and intravenous. The follow-up period was one year. Results: Of the 34 treated eyes, 21 (61.8%) improved, 8 (23.5%) remained stable, and 5 (14.7%) showed continued progression of their disease. Results were statistically significant with p = 0.0004. The average central vision improvement following treatment was 17.96% (95%CI, 16.39–19.53%) and ranged up to 80.5%. Of 17 patients treated, 13 (76.5%) showed visual acuity improvement in one or both eyes, 3 patients (17.6%) showed no net loss, and 1 worsened as a consequence of disease progression; 94.1% of patients had improved vision or remained stable. There were no adverse events. Conclusions: Patients with Stargardt Disease may potentially benefit from autologous bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMSC) as provided in SCOTS. Improvement or stabilization of vision was found to occur for the vast majority of reported patients and findings were highly statistically significant. Full article
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Review

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Review
Use of Acellular Umbilical Cord-Derived Tissues in Corneal and Ocular Surface Diseases
Medicines 2021, 8(2), 12; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicines8020012 - 09 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2155
Abstract
Blood derived products have become a valuable source of tissue for the treatment of ocular surface diseases that are refractory to conventional treatments. These can be obtained from autologous or allogeneic sources (patient’s own blood or from healthy adult donors/umbilical cord blood, respectively). [...] Read more.
Blood derived products have become a valuable source of tissue for the treatment of ocular surface diseases that are refractory to conventional treatments. These can be obtained from autologous or allogeneic sources (patient’s own blood or from healthy adult donors/umbilical cord blood, respectively). Allogeneic cord blood demonstrates practical advantages over alternatives and these advantages will be discussed herein. Umbilical cord blood (UCB) can be divided, generally speaking, into two distinct products: first, mononuclear cells, which can be used in regenerative ophthalmology, and second, the plasma/serum (an acellular fraction), which may be used in the form of eyedrops administered directly to the damaged ocular surface. The rationale for using umbilical cord serum (UCS) to treat ocular surface diseases such as severe dry eye syndrome (DES), persistent epithelial defects (PED), recurrent epithelial erosions, ocular chemical burns, graft versus host disease (GVHD), among others, is the considerably high concentration of growth factors and cytokines, mimicking the natural healing properties of human tears. Allogeneic serum also offers the opportunity for therapeutic treatment to patients who, due to poor heath, cannot provide autologous serum. The mechanism of action involves the stimulation of endogenous cellular proliferation, differentiation and maturation, which is highly efficient in promoting and enhancing corneal epithelial healing where other therapies have previously failed. Full article
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