Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Dr. Raunak Sinha and colleagues were recently published in the journal Cell Stem Cell for their work on retinal organoids.
In this study, Sinha and fellow researchers have successfully shown that a retinal cell type derived from human pluripotent stem cells is capable of the complex process of detecting light and converting that signal to electrical waves. This is the first time that cone photoreceptors derived from stem cells exhibited the ability to respond to light.
This is important for further research in treating vision loss. The retinal organoids were able to respond to light and color stimulation, including differentiating between red, green and blue light, like normal human cones.
“For diseases like macular degeneration where cones in the central-most part of the retina die, causing blindness, there are currently no treatment options. But with the advent of stem cell technology, you can make these stem cells grow into three-dimensional mini retinas containing cones that can replicate the physiology and function of foveal cones.” – Dr. Raunak Sinha
Sinha and colleagues hope to further apply these findings to organoid models that resemble retinas with degenerative disease, such as retinitis pigmentosa or macular degeneration.
This research was conducted in a collaboration between the UW–Madison Department of Neuroscience, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, and the McPherson Eye Research Institute.
For full article, click below:
Saha et al., Cone photoreceptors in human stem cell-derived retinal organoids demonstrate intrinsic light responses that mimic those of primate fovea, Cell Stem Cell (2022), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2022.01.002