Applied or translational research utilizes the findings of basic research. The subjects in SILK applied research are
Age-related macular degeneration generally has to do with ageing of the retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE). These cells take care of the normal functioning of the retina and retinal angiogenesis, among other things by producing for their environment various growth factors which regulate the functioning of the cells and their differentiation, likewise the growth of blood vessels. The ophthalmology research group has at its disposal a cell model in which the RPE cells as subjected to oxidative stress replicating the cell damage occurring in age degeneration. The cell model can be utilized among other is research on medications.
So far there are no effective treatment modes to repair damaged retinal structures in macular degeneration and thereby restoring the patient’s sight. Functional retinal cells produced from stem cells offer an opportunity for cell therapy in which new retinal cells are differentiated from stem cells to replace the damaged cells and an opportunity to develop new tools for medication development by offering cell models which better predict the real clinical picture in in vitro studies. At IBT/Regenerative Medicine new effective differentiation methods are developed for stem cells with which functioning retinal cells can be produced.
FICAM angiogenesis research focuses on 2D and 3D model development for various tissue technology applications and medication testing. Angiogenesis plays a significant role among others in retinal degeneration in connection with which in vitro retinal angiogenesis models are developed and tested in collaboration with SILK.
The renin and angiotensin system is involved in the regulation of blood pressure and the combinations having an effect thereon has been shown also to relieve the internal eye pressure associated with glaucoma. Research ascertains the effect of a new receptor type identified from the eye and its’ regulating compounds and enables its use as a medication alleviating eye pressure.