Hope for UV-induced eye diseases

Special contact lenses protects stem cells from UV-damage/harm

Scientists of the Dept. of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Cologne, and DFG Research Unit 2240 demonstrated that commercially available UV-blocking contact lenses are able to protect limbal stem cells in the eye from UV-damage. The team around Dr. Maria Notara, Univ. – Prof. Dr. Claus Cursiefen of the ophthalmology center of the University Hospital Cologne and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Bjoern Schumacher, director of the Institute for Genome Stability in Ageing and Disease at the CECAD research center showed that UV-induced DNA damage in stem cells can be prevented while the cells retain their function and characteristics.

These results open the way to a new prophylactic treatment for patients who are affected by UV-related eye conditions or the ones receiving ocular stem cell transplantation. The results of the research have been recently published at the “Scientific Reports” a Journal of the Nature Publishing Group.

The research was sponsored by a Johnson and Johson IIS Study grant, the EU Horizon 2020 Arrest Blindness Program and the DFG Research Unit 2240.