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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016, Article ID 2361763, 7 pages
Review Article

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: Development in the Ophthalmologic Field

1Department of Ophthalmology, Southwest Eye Hospital, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China
2Schepens Eye Research Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA
3Department of Ophthalmology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, 9713 GZ Groningen, Netherlands

Received 25 March 2016; Accepted 30 June 2016

Academic Editor: Gerald A. Colvin

Copyright © 2016 Nan Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are a type of stem cells that can be derived from human somatic cells by introducing certain transcription factors. Induced pluripotent stem cells can divide indefinitely and are able to differentiate into every cell type, which make them viable for transplantation and individual disease modeling. Recently, various ocular cells, including corneal epithelial-like cells, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells displaying functions similar to native RPE, photoreceptors, and retinal ganglion cells, have all been successfully derived from iPSCs. Transplantation of these cells in animal models showed great promise for reversing blindness, and the first clinical trial on humans started in 2013. Despite these promising results, more research is in demand for preventing inadvertent tumor growth, developing precise functionality of the cells, and promoting integration into the host tissue.