Funding for stem cell research that could reverse sight loss for people living with macular diseases has been announced by Fight for Sight.

Researchers at King’s College London, led by Professor Rachael Pearson, are using mini retinas (retinal organoids) grown from stem cells in a lab to develop patches that could recreate a functioning macula.

Professor Pearson said: ‘Our hope is that this study will give us a better understanding of human macular formation, which we can then use to generate structures for transplantation for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration and other macular dystrophies.

‘To be able to give back any vision to someone who has lost it is so important, but it would be particularly significant to improve vision in the macula, as we are trying to do in this project, because that’s the region upon which we are so dependent on for our high acuity vision. This means reading, seeing people’s faces, all of those tasks that we tend to take for granted. It’s so important for independence.’