Iranian researcher opens up new horizon to curing visual impairment

News ID: 3701170 -
TEHRAN, Jul. 03 (MNA) – A young Iranian researcher from Amirkabir Uni. of Technology has designed and developed a retinal repair scaffold which has opened up a new horizon toward curing visual impairments caused by retina problems.

Azadeh Sepahvandi, the project manager, said her team, for the very first time in the world, has been successful in designing and developing scaffolds for retinal tissue repair that have the ability to radiate electromagnetic waves and stimulate retinal cells into tissue regeneration.

The Biomedical Engineering PhD graduate who has simulated the process of the effect of electromagnetic waves on retinal cells went on to add, “in this project, we aimed to study the effect of electromagnetic signals on the process of cell growth and tissue repair by deriving from the normal function of the retina. ‘Luminescence’ nanoparticles were used to generate electromagnetic waves.”

“These nanoparticles are stimulated by visible light and radiate for about 16 hours, therefore we distributed them on a bed of ‘chitosan’ polymer and ‘polycaprolactone’ in different percentages and electrospun the composite to build scaffolds for retina tissue engineering,” she explained.

She went on to add, “at the same time, the nanoparticles could emit electromagnetic waves; that is to say, they could produce light which needed to be filtered and optimized in accordance with the behavior of the cells in the vicinity of the scaffolds.”

Sepahvandi noted the main achievement of her project as ‘cell differentiation’ during which retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) in proximity to the scaffolds differentiated into retinal cells.

“The results of the research can be applied in treating patients with retinal damage, as well as diabetic patients whose retinas have thinned and are at the risk of retinal detachment and visual impairment,” she said.

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