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Biomechanical modulation therapy

We're looking for partners to help commercialise a stem-cell treatment that can help to repair damaged corneas.

The cornea is the transparent front of the eye.

The transparency of the cornea relies on keeping a thin layer of healthy cells called the epithelium.

A group of stem cells at the edge of the cornea - the limbus - maintain the epithelium. They constantly generate new cells to replenish those lost to natural decay.

In 2019, we identified that the corneal stem cell niche – the area of tissue in the cornea where stem cells live – is a much softer environment than the rest of the tissue.

The softness helps the stem cells to stay healthy, in turn keeping the cornea healthy.

Correcting limbal stem cell deficiency

Eye injuries such as chemical burns can cause the limbus to become stiff. This results in stem cell loss and impaired wound healing. This then leads to corneal haze and even blindness.

We have discovered a novel, non-invasive solution that encourages the patient's own stem cells to heal the affected area.

The solution is ready for human trials.

The therapy represents a promising approach to preserving vision. We also think that the approach might be relevant to science and medicine beyond corneal research.

Background literature

Academic papers



Accelerating to commercialisation

We're working to move this stem cell treatment into a commercial offering as part of the ICURe programme.

Innovation-to-Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe) is the UK's leading early stage research accelerator programme. It guides researchers through the process of refining and validating the commercial potential for some of the world's leading-edge science, technology and knowledge assets.