The researchers used limbal stem cells which are found within the eye. They removed small samples of stem cells from the eyes of the three patients - two men and a woman - and grew them on contact lenses. The patients then wore the lenses for 10 days. During that period, the stem cells moved off the lenses and onto the damaged corneas.
The cells can be taken from any healthy part of the eye and, because they are from the patient's own body, the transplant will not be rejected.
Loane Skene, professor of law at the University of Melbourne and former Deputy Chair of the Lockhart Committee on human cloning and embryo research, said that the use of a patient's own stem cells is no more ethically contentious than a skin transplant.
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