Scientists have found a method of growing artificial retina

At today’s level of medicine we can grow a variety of tissues for transplant. But the problem is that this applies mostly only to a fairly “simply” arranged tissues like skin, bones or muscles. And the more complex the device has a tissue — the harder it is to create “in vitro”. In the first place by the difficulty of cultivation is, perhaps, the nervous tissue of the brain, spinal cord and retina. And that’s the way to create the latest newly found experts from Johns Hopkins University (USA).

The main problem when creating all types of fabrics in the laboratory is the elucidation of the trigger factors and conditions that lead to the differentiation of progenitor cells. After all, to get stem cells is not much of a problem. Cells of the retina, known to be divided into 2 types, responsible for day and night vision — rods and cones. Moreover, the cells that detect color, are divided further into 3 subtypes: cells S-type catch blue-violet part of the spectrum, the cells of the M-type green-yellow, and the cells are L-type red (by the way, is a defect in certain cells responsible for the development of various forms of color blindness). And all these cells develop from the same population. And scientists have discovered that it affects their development.

The studies of vertebrates and man, it was revealed that the most important role in the processes of formation of cells in the retina play thyroid thyroid hormones particularly triiodothyronine. The addition of triiodothyronine in the culture medium with cooking cells under certain conditions, starts the process of specialization of cells. Moreover, the excess hormone causes blocking of the maturation of cells of S and the development of the M and L-cells, and the lack of triiodothyronine, on the contrary, provokes the inhibition of the development of the M and L cells, the formation of cells in the S-type.

The development of different cell lines depending on the concentration of thyroid hormone

This process is quite time consuming, but the researchers were able to grow functioning organoid of the retina that responds to light and even released a short demo video is available below. As acknowledged by the authors, their finding may be not only the key to creating an artificial retina, but also to the treatment of color blindness and other disorders of visual function.

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