Researchers at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) have used nanotechnology to create a 3D scaffold to grow retinal pigment epithelial cells that stay healthy for 150 days.
Professor Barbara Pierscionek, study author and deputy dean of research and innovation at ARU, said: ‘This research has demonstrated, for the first time, that nanofibre scaffolds treated with the anti-inflammatory substance such as fluocinolone acetonide can enhance the growth, differentiation, and functionality of RPE cells.’
She added the development of the ‘electrospinning’ technology was an exciting breakthrough that could potentially help millions of age-related macular degeneration patients worldwide.
Researchers explained that when the scaffold was treated with a steroid called fluocinolone acetonide, which protected against inflammation, the resilience of the cells appeared to increase and promoted growth of eye cells. They added that these findings were important in the future development of ocular tissue for transplantation into the patient’s eye.