Title: Micromolded honeycomb scaffold design to support the generation of a bilayered RPE and photoreceptor cell construct
Legend: Advanced scaffolds allow controlled dual RPE and PR delivery for macular reconstruction.
Citation: Lee, I. K., Xie, R., Luz-Madrigal, A., Min, S., Zhu, J., Jin, J., Edwards, K. L., Phillips, M. J., Ludwig, A. L., Gamm, D. M., Gong, S., & Ma, Z. (2023). Micromolded honeycomb scaffold design to support the generation of a bilayered RPE and photoreceptor cell construct. Bioactive materials, 30, 142–153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bioactmat.2023.07.019
Abstract: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) causes blindness due to loss of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and photoreceptors (PRs), which comprise the two outermost layers of the retina. Given the small size of the macula and the importance of direct contact between RPE and PRs, the use of scaffolds for targeted reconstruction of the outer retina in later stage AMD and other macular dystrophies is particularly attractive. We developed microfabricated, honeycomb-patterned, biodegradable poly(glycerol sebacate) (PGS) scaffolds to deliver organized, adjacent layers of RPE and PRs to the subretinal space. Furthermore, an optimized process was developed to photocure PGS, shortening scaffold production time from days to minutes. The resulting scaffolds robustly supported the seeding of human pluripotent stem cell-derived RPE and PRs, either separately or as a dual cell-layered construct. These advanced, economical, and versatile scaffolds can accelerate retinal cell transplantation efforts and benefit patients with AMD and other retinal degenerative diseases.
About the Lab: David Gamm’s laboratory at the Waisman Center uses stem cell technology to investigate the cellular and molecular events that occur during human retinal differentiation and to generate cells for use in human retinal disease modeling and cell-based rescue or replacement strategies. To meet these goals, Gamm utilizes a variety of human cell types, including ES and iPS cells, which have the capacity to mimic retinal development and disease, as well as to delineate the genetic “checkpoints” necessary to produce particular retinal cell types. By understanding the behavior of these cell types in vitro and in vivo, Gamm hopes to optimize strategies to delay or reverse the effects of blinding disorders such as retinitis pigmentosa and age–related macular degeneration.
Investigator: David Gamm, MD, PhD