The goal of this research is to restore/regenerate the optic nerve following damage. We will use a rat model of optic nerve crush injury to conduct much of this work, and utilize a biologic scaffold based approach to induce a regenerative response. Use of such scaffolds in other body locations has shown excellent constructive and functional remodeling, and the innervation to many of these alternative sites has been surprisingly robust.
Our in vitro work suggests that stem cells from the central nervous system respond very favorably to various forms of this scaffold material.
As part of the work, we are also examining Bruch’s membrane within the retina. We have mastered all of the technical components of the work and our preliminary data is promising.