JAN 04, 2016
Researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington have developed an ultrafast near-infrared laser platform to deliver gene therapy to damaged areas of the retina.
The novel laser-based method creates a transient sub-micrometer-sized hole that allows targeted delivery of light producing genes known as opsins into damaged retinal cells. In an article published by the Nature journal Light: Science & Applications, investigators showed that the laser-based method was superior to chemical gene delivery in the amount of opsins produced and number expressed on cell membrane.
“Most therapies focus on slowing down or halting degeneration but cannot target already-damaged areas of the retina,” said Samarenda Mohanty, assistant professor of physics and head of UTA’s Biophysics and Physiology Group, who led the research. “Our capacity to specifically target these damaged areas cell by cell opens up a new world of possibilities for vision restoration.”