Retinal Organoids: Exploring the Effects of Photo-Stimulation on Human Retina

Information

This project doesn't include Faculty of Science. It includes Faculty of Medicine. Official project website can be found on muni.cz.

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Project Identification
GA21-08182S
Project Period
1/2021 - 12/2023
Investor / Pogramme / Project type
Czech Science Foundation
MU Faculty or unit
Faculty of Medicine

Pluripotent stem cell-derived retinal organoids represent a reliable experimental retinal model, and also potential source for cell replacement therapy for treating retinal dystrophies. However, in vitro generated retinal cells are often poorly differentiated with impaired functionality demonstrated by not fully developed photoreceptor outer segments and less synaptic connectivity, which can be contributed to the lack of natural instructive signals that is normally available in vivo. In this project we aim to address these limitations by introducing instructive signals using photo-stimulation of human retinal cells. We have developed a unique optical device for high-throughput multi-wavelength light illumination of retinal organoids. Our preliminary results clearly indicate that photo-stimulation of differentiating retinal cells leads to enhanced differentiation. The proposed strategy combines the innovative photo-stimulation approach with stem cell biology research, allowing to study photo-induced effects on retinal development from a uniquely different perspective.

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