- Human Retinal Engineering is a field of study focused on combining state of the art tissue engineering and stem cell based technologies to generate multi layered 3 dimensional living retinal grafts for the treatment of retinal degenerative blindness.
- Unlike transplantation into host with early stage disease, transplantation into hosts with late stage disease (i.e. where little outer retinal structure remains) results in poor donor cell survival and integration (lack of red donor cells in host retina).
Transplantation on polymer support scaffolds promotes cell survival and integration.
- Our lab is focused on developing 3 dimensional living retinal grafts by using hydrogel based biopolymers. With the advent of 3 dimensional two photo lithography it is now possible to print on the sub cellular resolution. This is making it possible to develop highly organized photoreceptor, RPE and choroidal cell sheets for retinal transplantation.
2 Photon Photo Lithography
- 3D printing holds endless possibilities for those interested in tissue engineering.
This technology is based on the principles of photopolymerization. That is, the fact that 1) a single photon of light is below the activation energy required to stimulate a polymerization event and 2) two photons of light precisely focused at the same location in the proper temporal space is at the activation energy required to stimulate a polymerization event, it is now possible to print at extremely high resolutions extra cellular support structures that mimic delicate retinal tissues ex vivo.