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Generation of Transplantable Retinal Pigmented Epithelial (RPE) Cells for Treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

  • Harshini Surendran
  • Reena J. Rathod
  • Rajarshi Pal
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the foremost cause of blindness in people over the age of 60 worldwide. Clinically, this disease starts with distortion in central vision eventually leading to legal blindness. Vision loss has a significant impact on quality of life and incurs a substantial cost to the economy. Furthermore, AMD is a complex and progressive neurodegenerative disorder that triggers visual impairment due to the loss of retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) and the light-sensitive photoreceptors that they support, protect and provide nutrition. Currently, there is no curative treatment for the most common form of this disease, i.e., dry AMD. A novel approach to treat AMD involves the transplantation of RPE cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in the outer retina. These iPSC-derived RPE cells not only show characteristics similar to native RPE but also could replace as well as regenerate damaged pathologic RPE and produce supportive growth factors and cytokines. Several clinical trials are being conducted taking advantage of a variety of cell- and tissue engineering-based approaches. Here, we present a simple, cost effective, and scalable cell-culture model for generation of purified RPE thus providing the foundation for developing an allogeneic cell therapy for AMD.


Age-related macular degeneration Eye Induced pluripotent stem cells Retina Retinal pigment epithelial cells 



Eyestem Research Private Limited, Bangalore is acknowledged for funding and other facilities. The authors thank Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (CCAMP), NCBS-TIFR Campus, Bangalore for incubation support in the form of infrastructure. We gratefully thank Drs. Dhruv Sareen, Cedars Sinai Medical Centre, CA, USA; Mahendra Rao, InStem, Bangalore; Kapil Bharti, NEI-NIH, MD, USA, and Deepak Lamba, Buck Institute, CA, USA for their crucial suggestions to develop this protocol.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harshini Surendran
    • 1
  • Reena J. Rathod
    • 1
  • Rajarshi Pal
    • 1
  1. 1.Eyestem Research, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (CCAMP)BangaloreIndia

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