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Article

Towards an In Vitro Retinal Model to Study and Develop New Therapies for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta”, Politecnico di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy
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Bioengineering 2021, 8(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering8020018
Received: 30 November 2020 / Revised: 9 January 2021 / Accepted: 20 January 2021 / Published: 22 January 2021
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly worldwide. So far, the etiology and the progression of AMD are not well known. Animal models have been developed to study the mechanisms involved in AMD; however, according to the “Three Rs” principle, alternative methods have been investigated. Here we present a strategy to develop a “Three Rs” compliant retinal three-dimensional (3D) in vitro model, including a Bruch’s membrane model and retina pigment epithelium (RPE) layer. First, tensile testing was performed on porcine retina to set a reference for the in vitro model. The results of tensile testing showed a short linear region followed by a plastic region with peaks. Then, Bruch’s membrane (BrM) was fabricated via electrospinning by using Bombyx mori silk fibroin (BMSF) and polycaprolactone (PCL). The BrM properties and ARPE-19 cell responses to BrM substrates were investigated. The BrM model displayed a thickness of 44 µm, with a high porosity and an average fiber diameter of 1217 ± 101 nm. ARPE-19 cells adhered and spread on the BMSF/PCL electrospun membranes. In conclusion, we are developing a novel 3D in vitro retinal model towards the replacement of animal models in AMD studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: retina; 3R; in vitro model; ophthalmology; age-related macular degeneration; biomechanics; electrospinning retina; 3R; in vitro model; ophthalmology; age-related macular degeneration; biomechanics; electrospinning
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MDPI and ACS Style

Belgio, B.; Boschetti, F.; Mantero, S. Towards an In Vitro Retinal Model to Study and Develop New Therapies for Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Bioengineering 2021, 8, 18. https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering8020018

AMA Style

Belgio B, Boschetti F, Mantero S. Towards an In Vitro Retinal Model to Study and Develop New Therapies for Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Bioengineering. 2021; 8(2):18. https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering8020018

Chicago/Turabian Style

Belgio, Beatrice, Federica Boschetti, and Sara Mantero. 2021. "Towards an In Vitro Retinal Model to Study and Develop New Therapies for Age-Related Macular Degeneration" Bioengineering 8, no. 2: 18. https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering8020018

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