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Scientists '3D print' eye tissue to help medical research

24.12.2022 06:07 AM
Scientists '3D print' eye tissue to help medical research
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Scientists '3D print' eye tissue to help medical research

Scientists have come up with an innovative method that allows the production of eye tissue using stem cells and 3D printing, which will allow the treatment of a group of degenerative eye diseases in the future.

A team of researchers at the US National Eye Institute succeeded in printing a group of cells that form the outer blood barrier of the retina, which supports the light-sensing retinal photoreceptors.

This technique will provide a supply of tissue for patients suffering from degenerative retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration.

Commenting on the study, the results of which were published in the journal "Nature Methods", Kapil Bharti, Head of the Department of Ocular and Stem Cell Research at the US National Eye Institute, said: "The mechanisms of macular degeneration are still not understood. In this disease, fatty protein deposits are formed outside the retinal membrane, which which makes it not work properly.

Revolutionary invention

Bharti and colleagues incorporated three types of immature placental cells into a hydrogel material, which are components of capillaries and tissues.

Next, they printed the gel onto a biodegradable chip, and within a few days, the cells began to mature into a dense capillary network.

By day nine, the scientists had transplanted retinal pigment cells onto the other side of the chip, and just over a month later, the tissue had reached full maturity.

The printed tissue appeared to function similarly to the original retinal outer blood barrier.

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