Millions of adults over age 50 struggle each year with vision loss caused by damage to the retina or common macular degeneration.
Physics researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington have developed a new platform that uses ultrafast near-infrared lasers to deliver gene therapy to damaged areas of the retina to enable vision restoration in patients with photo-degenerative diseases.
“Most therapies focus on slowing down or halting degeneration but cannot target already-damaged areas of the retina,” said Samarenda Mohanty, assistant professor of physics and head of UTA’s Biophysics and Physiology Group, who led the research. “Our capacity to specifically target these damaged areas cell by cell opens up a new world of possibilities for vision restoration.”
Mohanty demonstrated the effectiveness of the new method in a recent article published by the Nature journal Light: Science & Applications. In his study, Mohanty and his team compared their ultrafast near-infrared laser-based method of delivering genes with the popular non-viral chemical gene delivery system known as lipofection.
The laser-based method creates a transient sub-mircometer hole that allows the gene for light-sensitive proteins, or opsins, to permeate into the damaged retinal cell. The genes are then activated to produce the opsins, which attach to the cell membrane and convert external light into the photocurrent signals that are basis of sight.
In Mohanty’s experiments, the laser-based method gave better results than chemical gene delivery in terms of the amount of opsins produced and the number expressed on the membrane of the cell. It was also able to target cells one by one where the chemical gene delivery system cannot be that specific.
Furthermore, the laser-based method was also able to effectively deliver large packages of genes encoding a wide spectrum of colors to damaged retinal cells, which could enable broadband vision restoration in patients with photo-degenerative diseases.
With aging populations in many countries, the number of macular degeneration sufferers is expected to reach 196 million worldwide by 2020 and increase to 288 million by 2040, according to The Lancet.
The Latest on: Macular Degeneration
via Google News
The Latest on: Macular Degeneration
- Treating age-related macular degenerationon July 22, 2019 at 2:18 pm
(NBC) – Have you heard of age-related macular degeneration? Maybe not, but a Florida doctor says it affects millions. “It’s probably the most common diagnosis I see here in my practice,” says Retinal ... […]
- Senior Living: Macular degeneration and what it means for youon July 22, 2019 at 9:00 am
Loss in vision as you age is common among older adults, but not something you should take lightly or ignore. Problems with your vision can be a sign of a new or existing vision disorder. Most changes ... […]
- Preventing and Treating Macular Degeneration in the Elderlyon July 19, 2019 at 10:47 am
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) tops the list as one of the top three conditions that cause vision loss in people over the age of 60. AMD is most likely to affect seniors due to the slow ... […]
- Managed Care Opportunities and Approaches to Supporting Appropriate Selection of Treatment for Sight Preventionon July 19, 2019 at 8:51 am
Currently, up to 11 million people in the United States have some form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is one of the leading causes of vision loss in older Americans. Ophthalmologists ... […]
- Review of Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatment Optionson July 19, 2019 at 8:51 am
Due to an aging population, visual impairment from neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) is increasing in the United States. Despite unprecedented improvements in vision preservation ... […]
- Yellow lenses to the rescue for macular degenerationon July 19, 2019 at 12:18 am
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have an elderly friend who's becoming blind from macular degeneration. After hearing of a particularly frustrating event she experienced due to vision loss, I remembered the great ... […]
- Pixium Vision announced sustained success of its PRIMA System after 12-months in dry age-related macular degeneration patientson July 17, 2019 at 10:02 pm
Data confirm better than expected interim six-month results The system is sustainably well tolerated while preserving residual peripheral vision Some patients improve their ability to identify letters ... […]
- How to design a safe home for people with wet age-related macular degenerationon July 16, 2019 at 10:58 am
"GMA" sponsor Novartis and Nate Berkus share tips for how to design a safe home for people with the disease that can cause blurred vision and often lead to blindness. ... […]
- New laser shows promise in treating macular degenerationon July 15, 2019 at 1:35 pm
MEDFORD, Ore. (KOBI) — A breakthrough treatment for macular degeneration is being used on patients in the Rogue Valley. The Medford office using it is believed to be the only one West of the ... […]
- Specsavers Napier is putting a spotlight on macular degenerationon July 12, 2019 at 11:26 am
A Hawke's Bay optometrist is calling on locals to have an important conversation about their family's history of eye health. Specsavers Napier optometrist Scott Charlton is placing a spotlight on ... […]
via Bing News