In a study published in Ophthalmology Retina, a team of researchers led by Prof. Masayo Takahashi (RIKEN, Japan) used the rtx1 Adaptive Optics Retinal Camera to assess novel cell-replacement therapy for Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
AMD is a common cause of blindness. It starts by the degeneration of one type of retinal cells: the RPE cells. With the advent of stem-cell technologies, scientists and ophthalmologists started developing cell-replacement therapies to try and restore vision in AMD patients.
In an ongoing trial in Japan, a patient underwent a surgical procedure to replace damaged RPE cells by new RPE cells derived from stem cells. The transplant was then monitored during 4 years and results are reported in the article. Co-author Dr Seiji Takagi (Kobe City Eye Hospital, Japan) commented:
“The rtx1 allowed us to directly observe stem cell-derived RPE cells after their transplantation in a patient’s retina. Thanks to the rtx1’s microscopic resolution, we could verify that the mosaic arrangement of these cells was similar to that of natural RPE cells, and stable over time.”
Article reference: Takagi, S. Mandai, M. Gocho, K. et al. Evaluation of Transplanted Autologous Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Retinal Pigment Epithelium in Exudative Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Ophthalmology Retina S2468653019300909 (Jun. 2019)