The efficient and targeted delivery of genes and other impermeable therapeutic molecules into retinal cells is of immense importance for therapy of various visual disorders. Traditional methods for gene delivery require viral transfection, or use of physical and chemical methods which suffer from one or many drawbacks such as invasiveness, low efficiency, lack of spatially-targeted delivery, and can generally have deleterious effects such as unexpected inflammatory responses and immunological reactions. Further, for effective dry-age related macular degeneration (dry-AMD) therapy involving geographic atrophies of the retina, it requires to localize the delivery of the targeted opsin-encoding genes to specific retinal cells in atrophied-regions. Here, we report near-infrared laser based Nano-enhanced Optical Delivery (NOD) of opsin-encoding genes into retina of mouse models of retina degeneration in-vivo. In this method, the field enhancement by gold nanorods is utilized to transiently perforate retinal cell membrane to deliver exogenous molecules to cells in the targeted area of retina. SDOCT was used to monitor if there is any damage to retina and other ocular structures. The expression and functioning of opsin in targeted retina after in-vivo NOD in the mice models of retinal degeneration opens new vista for re-photosensitizing retinas with geographic atrophies in dry-AMD.
Sivakumar Gajjeraman, Subrata Batabyal, Weldon Wright, and Samarendra K. Mohanty, "Targeted nano-enhanced Optical delivery of opsin for dry-AMD therapy (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10482, Optogenetics and Optical Manipulation 2018, 104820T (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2018; Published: 14 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2291757.5751479192001.
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