Published on January 31, 2013 at 6:14 AM
Combined with advances in producing pluripotent stem cells from fully-differentiated adult cells, the research will also progress treatments for eye diseases.
"In the future, we will be able to take adult skin cells, for example, and turn back the clock to produce stem cells. From there, using processes like we have developed for lens epithelium, we will be able to produce diseased cells - an invaluable asset for medical research," Associate Professor Barberi said.
The researchers will now focus on creating a lens more closely resembling a human eye in the lab.
"The lens cells that we created in the petri dish are organised differently to those in a human eye. The next challenge is mimicking nature more perfectly," Associate Professor Barberi said.
Published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine, the study was partly funded by the Australian Research Council.
Source: Monash University