Retinal degenerative diseases, including age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa, are the prodominant causes of human blindness in the world; however, these diseases are difficult to treat. Currently, knowledge on the mechanisms of these diseases is still very limited and no radical drugs are available. Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are an innovative technology that turns somatic cells into embryonic stem (ES)-like cells with pluripotent potential via the exogenous expression of several key genes. It can be used as an unlimited source for cell differentiation or tissue engineering, either of which is a promising therapy for human degenerative diseases. Induced pluripotent cells are both an unlimited source for retinal regeneration and an expectant tool for pharmaprojects and developmental or disease modelling. In this review, we try to summarize the advancement of iPS-based technologies and the potential utility for retinal degenerative diseases. We also discuss the challenges of using this technology in the retinology field.
Volume 99, 2020
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