Search

CET and skills guides

Study and gain CET points through OT’s online CET exams, and access archived CET, CPD articles and skills guides in our education library

Find out more

Science and vision

News and features about the latest scientific developments and advances in optometry, ophthalmology and eye medicine

Find out more

Professional support

News and features about the latest developments relating to professional support from across optics. This includes updates from optical organisations such as the AOP and the GOC

Find out more

In practice

News and in-depth features about business management and career development in optics

Find out more

Jobs

Explore the latest UK and global jobs in the optical sector for optometrists, dispensing opticians and more

Find out more

Researchers create stem cell model of macular degeneration

Using human stem cells to create a model of the disease could aid the development of new treatments

Stem cells

Scientists have used stem cells to create a model of macular degeneration for the first time.

In a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the University of Rochester researchers collected skin cells from patients with genetic forms of macular degeneration.

They then reprogrammed the cells to become stem cells and used the stem cells to create retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells.

When aged in a dish, these cells displayed several characteristics of macular degeneration, including the production of deposits similar to Drusen.

The research team were able to show for the first time that dysfunctional RPE cells can cause specific elements of macular degeneration on their own, without involvement of other cells within the retina.

Study author, Dr Ruchira Singh, highlighted that the research supported the development of treatments targeting RPE cells as well as providing an improved model to test these treatments on.