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Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

MVSIO-TT PhD/Graduate Student Seminar- Presenter: Samarendra K. Mohanty, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, NanoScope Technologies, LLC, Texas

Calendar: McKnight Vision Research Seminars

“Optical gene delivery, stimulation and activity detection in retina for restoring vision.”

Since the opsins employed so far for vision restoration studies requires light intensity above ambient light level to stimulate the opsin-sensitized cells, external active stimulation devices has been designed to stimulate opsin-sensitized retinal neurons in vivo. I will introduce a novel Multi-Characteristic Opsin (MCO1) which is an ambient light-activatable ion channel protein. Sensitization of higher order neurons in degenerated retina enabled behavioral restoration of vision at ambient light level. I will present the results from the behavioral and toxicity and biodistribution studies. 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. For effective therapy of visual disorders involving geographic atrophies of the retina, it requires to localize the delivery of the targeted molecules to specific retinal cells in atrophied-regions. I will present use of near-infrared laser (ultrafast pulsed or continuous wave) based in-vivo spatially controlled optical delivery of opsin-encoding genes into retina of mouse models of retina degeneration.Further, detection of functioning of the retina in-vivo is significant for clinical valuation of visual abnormalities including retinal degeneration. I will present use of near-infrared low-coherent light for non-contact, label-free in-vivo detection of retinal activity.