Flower power: using plants to tackle abnormal blood vessel growth

A plant extract holds potential in the treatment of retinopathy, according to new research from the University of Surrey

Purple flowers

Researchers have highlighted that a synthetic plant derivative could be used to develop future treatments for retinopathy of prematurity, diabetic retinopathy and wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Scientists from the University of Surrey, Indiana University and Kingston University explored the therapeutic potential of the hyacinthaceae plant family.

The researchers found that several homoisoflavonoids and related synthetic compounds from the plants were able to slow new blood vessel growth in experiments with retinal microvascular endothelial cells.

Professor Dulcie Mulholland, head of the department of chemistry at the University of Surrey, said that the research hints at possible future treatments for many degenerative eye conditions.

“It appears that nature still has many secrets to reveal,” she said.

Image credit: Magnus Manske