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Development of a multilayered and bioprinted iPSC-derived retinal model with use in preclinical and toxicological testing

Objective

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) encompass the most prevalent cause of vision-loss in elderly people in developed countries. One of the main hurdles restraining the development of efficient treatments against AMD is the inability of current animal, 2D-cellular and organoid-based models to completely recapitulate the pathophysiology of this disease. The goal of the iRETINA project is to bioprint an in-vitro human retinal model using isolated endothelial and retinal cells derived from iPSCs. The result will be a functional and vascularized iPSC-derived tissue resembling the native stratified retina that could serve as a preclinical and toxicological model for drug development and for the study of complex phenomena such as allogenic immune response. In order to achieve this goal, the iRETINA project will focus at three different levels: 1) implementing state-of-the-art genome editing tools for the development of retinal cell differentiation and enrichment strategies from healthy and AMD-patient iPSC; 2) developing new methodologies for bioprinting endothelial and retinal cells aiming to preserve cell viability, synaptic connectivity and structural integrity; 3) proof of concept testing to evaluate the usefulness of the artificial retina as a bona fide in vitro retinal model. The nature of this project is strongly multidisciplinary and involves the collaboration of basic researchers with experts in the fields of ophthalmology, immunology and biomaterial sciences. The results of this proposal have the potential to represent a true technological and scientific breakthrough that will result in better organ and disease modeling, and reduced laboratory animal use, eventually minimizing the burden and complexity of preclinical trials required for the development of novel pharmacological and cell replacement therapies against AMD.

Coordinator

FUNDACION PUBLICA ANDALUZA PROGRESO Y SALUD M.P.
Net EU contribution
€ 206 641,20
Address
Avenida Americo Vespucio 15 Edif S2
41092 Sevilla
Spain

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Region
Andalucía Sevilla
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
No data

Partners (2)

BICO GROUP AB
Sweden
Net EU contribution
€ 0,00
Address
Arvid Wallgrens Backe 20
413 46 Goteborg

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SME

The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Yes
Region
Södra Sverige Västsverige Västra Götalands län
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
No data
FONDAZIONE DEMOCENTER - SIPE
Italy
Net EU contribution
€ 0,00
Address
Via Vivarelli 2
41125 Modena

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Region
Nord-Est Emilia-Romagna Modena
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
No data