Principal investigator; Ghosh, Fredrik, Assistant Professor, MD/PhD
Clinical speciality: Ophthalmology
Co-workers: Karl Engelsberg, Lund; Robert Langer, MIT
International networks: MIT
Retinitis pigmentosa and age related macular degeneration are two of the most common causes of blindness in the western world. Both of these diseases share common ground in that they display a destruction beyond repair of the photoreceptors in the retina. To meet the challenges of these diseases, we have developed a surgical technique for transplanting retina in full-thickness sheets.
When transplanted to normal and diseased animals, full-thickness neuroretinal grafts display a normal morphology and excellent long-time survival without any signs of immune rejection. We are currently focusing on three important issues to move forwards to clinical trials: 1) do the transplant function appropriately?, 2) can the nerve cells of graft and host retina be stimulated to form connections?, and 3) can the well-devolped graft rescue remaining degenerating photoreceptors in the host retina?
A surgical technique based on vitrectomy (removal of the vitreous) is used. Grafted eyes are studied with various histological techniques as well as with electrophysiological methods-MERG (Multifocal Electro Retino Gram). To enhance the formation of neuronal contacts, pre-treatment of the host retina with laser is used, and the donor tissue is kept under culture conditions where it can be growth-factor manipulated.
An important step towards a treatment for degenerative retinal disease has been taken with the development of neuroretinal full-thickness transplantation. Our recent experiments show that full-thickness grafts survive well also in individuals with a retinal degenerative disease, and that eyes with grafts show less rod degeneration than control eyes.
Present and future projects will show if the grafts functions normally, and are able to transfer useful visual information to the central nervous system of the host. We have also outlined a strategy of how to optimize donor tissue in preparation for clinical trials.
Link to project homepage: http://www.med.lu.se/klinvetlund/oftalmologi/forskning/naethinnetransplantation
5 recent original publications
Pritchard CP, Arner K, Neal RA, Neeley WL, Bojo P, Bachelder E, Holz J, Watson N, Botchwey EA, Langer RS, Ghosh F
The use of surface modified poly(glycerol-co-sebacic acid) in retinal transplantation
Biomaterials. 2009; Dec 03: Epub ahead of print
. 2007; 245: 835-46
Ghosh F, Bruun A and Ehinger B
Graft-host connections in long-term full thickness embryonic rabbit retinal transplants
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1999; 40: 126-132
Engelsberg K, Ghosh F
Transplantation of Cultured Adult Porcine Neuroretina
Cell Transpl.. 2007; 16: 31-39
Further publications here (new window)
|Total financing:||4.3 MSEK||Gov grant for clinical research ("ALF"):||1.3 MSEK|
|Total external financing:||2.0 MSEK||Natl and intl prioritized grants:||1.0 MSEK|