Open-angle glaucoma is an eye condition where the trabecular meshwork (TM) loses its ability to properly maintain a healthy intraocular pressure (IOP) within the eye, as it is no longer able to evacuate aqueous humour from it.
This results in a high IOP which damages the optic nerve and causes blindness. The exact mechanism behind this change is not well understood yet and the available in vitro models fail to recapitulate the complex structure of the TM.
The aim of this project is to produce a model of the TM that mimics the architecture, tensile properties, and perfusion rate of the human TM in vitro. For that purpose scaffolds made with melt electrowriting (MEW) will replicate the gradual shift from sporadic beams with relatively large gaps in between them, to fibers with much narrower inter-fiber distances. TM cells will be seeded on the scaffolds and perfused with liquid in order to mimic native human TM conditions. This model could serve as an in vitro drug testing platform or as a replacement for the damaged TM in patients.
NWO (XS grant no. OCENW.XS4.140)