Approximately 80% of all sensory input is received via the eyes, so suffering from chronic retinal diseases that lead to blindness causes a significant decrease in the quality of life (QOL). And because retinal diseases are most common among the elderly, developing pathological analyses and treatments for retinal diseases has become an urgent issue in super-aging countries such as Japan.
Although evaluation of drug candidates against retinal diseases has been done on animal models, serious concerns arise regarding the ethics and costs in addition to the limitations of translating data from animal models to clinical settings.
In vitro cell culture models, an alternative to animal models, enable researchers to investigate specific molecules-of-interest and simply recapitulate complex and chronic conditions. Although studies on organ-on-a-chip for drug discovery have recently been extensively carried out, the organ-on-a-chip approach that targets the ocular tissues has been rarely investigated.
A joint research team from the Graduate Schools of Engineering and Medicine at Tohoku University has recapitulated a pathological condition of retinal diseases on a chip. They first cultured human retinal cells and vascular endothelial cells, mimicking the outermost structure of the retina.
When retinal cells were exposed to hypoglycemic and hypoxic conditions after the cells had grown up, endothelial cells were found to migrate to the side of retinal cells to damage them. This process partially recapitulates neovascularization in wet-type age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Learn more: Reproducing a retinal disease on a chip
The Latest on: Retinal disease on a chip
- French Regulators Approve Human Trial of a Bionic Eye on October 26, 2017 at 1:30 pm
Five people with severe vision loss will have an experimental chip implanted in their eyes to help them ... which will be placed in people with an advanced type of retinal disease called dry age-related macular degeneration, or dry AMD. […]
- Scientists Are Making Stunning Advances In Curing Blindness on June 19, 2014 at 11:50 pm
Once doomed to a life of darkness, dozens of people stricken by retinal diseases are rediscovering a world of light ... The system is built around a chip implanted in the eye to mimic the function of photoreceptor cells, typically combined with a miniature ... […]
- Retina Implant Chip Makes 11 Blind People See Again on February 22, 2013 at 5:28 am
The light sensitive electronic chip that is implanted under the dysfunctional retina of people who became blind due to disease has an array of 1,500 pixels and stimulates the still existing optic nerves. Over 15 years of ongoing research activities at the ... […]
- Retinal implants that give sight to the blind show some success in trials on February 21, 2013 at 4:22 am
German-designed implants aimed at restoring vision to patients blinded by retinal disease have succeeded in the second phase ... The device consists of a tiny light-sensitive chip measuring 3mm by 3mm (0.11 x 0.11 inches), which sends electrical signals ... […]
- Retinal implants clear new hurdle to reach second phase of trials on February 20, 2013 at 3:40 pm
GERMAN-designed implants aimed at restoring vision to patients blinded by retinal disease have succeeded in the second phase ... The device consists of a tiny light-sensitive chip measuring 3mm by 3mm, which sends electrical signals down the optic nerve ... […]
- Will we ever... restore sight to the blind? on March 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm
This miracle is thanks to a pioneering chip implanted in his retina ... of blindness called retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited disease that gradually destroys the light-detecting cells of the retina. As the cells die, a person’s field of view begins ... […]
- Medicine: ‘Eye Chip’ group moves to USC from Hopkins on September 18, 2001 at 5:00 pm
has been to find a cure for currently untreatable retinal diseases that cause blindness, a quest that led him to help create the “eye chip.” Humayun comes from a family of physicians, including his mother and four of his uncles. He received his medical ... […]
- Silicon Chip Takes Aim At Eye Disease on June 29, 2000 at 5:00 pm
The Optobionics chip is one of a handful of technologies being pursued by researchers to treat retinal diseases--the leading cause of untreatable blindness. Worldwide, 30 million people suffer from retinal disorders, including retinitis pigmentosa and age ... […]
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