Indian President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam stressed the need for stem cell research as it had tremendous potential in ophthalmology.

He said the recent identification and characterisation of progenitors with stem cell properties had opened up new avenues that might be useful for treating functional impairments caused by the death of specific cell population. Stromal and neuronal degeneration were the two causes of debilitating visual impairment associated with many ocular diseases, he said.

Degenerative diseases of cornea, retinitis pigmentosa (RP), age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma could be cured with stem cell research.

He suggested that the ‘International Association for Prevention of Blindness’ along with ‘Lion’s Club International’ could join together with other partners and promote a research programme in stem cells based on the experience of the LV Prasad Eye Institute. The President said NANO-technology was finding large-scale applications in drug delivery system and biomedical application. The major eye care centres in the country could jointly set up a NANO Technology Research Foundation in collaboration with international institutions.

Source: The Eye Care Blog