Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine Technology

Scientists Print Retinal Cells 41

Posted by Soulskill
from the eyeball-load-letter dept.
Rambo Tribble writes "The BBC reports on research that points to the possibility of using inkjet technology to print retinal ganglion and glial cells. While the research is preliminary, it is thought to hold great promise for treating certain kinds of eye problems."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Scientists Print Retinal Cells

Comments Filter:
  • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Wednesday December 18, 2013 @05:50PM (#45730437) Homepage

    Last year, in an unfortunate accident involving lasers and unexpected reflections, I burned a nice dark spot right near the center of my field of vision.

    With this new technology, in only 50 years I'll be able to repair that damage!

    • Re:Great timing! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Cryacin (657549) on Wednesday December 18, 2013 @06:03PM (#45730631)
      And this, kiddies, is why you need to look like a dork and wear your safety glasses.
      • My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

      • by Sarten-X (1102295)
        And don't buy cheap laser pointers.
        • by geekoid (135745)

          a laser pointer did that? how?
          And it's still your fault.

          • by Sarten-X (1102295)
            Correctly-low visible emission, but too much infrared. I didn't notice until I tried taking a picture of my setup and realized that my CCD camera saw everything far brighter than I did. I realized a few days later that I had a new spot in my vision.
  • but will they connect to the optical nerve? And once they're printed, how do you put them in the eye?
    • by nurb432 (527695)

      The same way they do retina transplants ( which i also think is still experimental, but it does happen )

      I doubt anyone alive today will get benefit from this research, but its worth while and will help generations down the road.

      • Well I hope it's a *bit* faster than that, since it looks (haha) like I'm going to get MD later in life just like my Dad. I really wish we could the body itself to grow these cells, since obviously it was able to do it once before.
        • Well I hope it's a *bit* faster than that, since it looks (haha) like I'm going to get MD later in life just like my Dad.

          I have the same worry. So far I'm doing OK (and taking my vitamin A) but it's still a worry.

          (I also worry that, with the increasing governmental takeover of medicine, research on and deployment of new treatments will grind to a halt as a cost-cutting measure.)

          I really wish we could the body itself to grow these cells, since obviously it was able to do it once before.

          If you follow this li [bbc.co.uk]

          • Don't worry about the government takeover of the decision to purchase medical insurance. No bussiness profits will be injured as a result.

    • Well, first you attach them to the tip of a pointy stick...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 18, 2013 @05:52PM (#45730471)

    This doesn't address the biggest problem in regenerating retinal ganglion cells: the axons from individual cells have to go out the back of the eye, travel about 10cm, and synapse with the correct neuron in the thalamus. And there are over 1 million of these axons per eye.

    For the EE types: 1 million wires that need to plug into the right hole, and there's no wiring diagram.

    • by dmbasso (1052166) on Wednesday December 18, 2013 @06:07PM (#45730693)

      Even if it gets wired somehow, the visual cortex would has to adapt to the new signal... something that doesn't normally happen in adults. Oliver Sacks wrote about one patient that had some visual impairment fixed (cataract, IIRC) after being effectively blind for 40 years. After the surgery he was overwhelmed by the unexpected (to the brain) flow of visual information, which he couldn't make sense of, and regretted the decision to have his eyes fixed.

      • by hawkfish (8978)

        Even if it gets wired somehow, the visual cortex would has to adapt to the new signal... something that doesn't normally happen in adults. Oliver Sacks wrote about one patient that had some visual impairment fixed (cataract, IIRC) after being effectively blind for 40 years. After the surgery he was overwhelmed by the unexpected (to the brain) flow of visual information, which he couldn't make sense of, and regretted the decision to have his eyes fixed.

        There is a difference between giving vision to someone who never had it and changing the input to a functioning visual cortex. There was some guy who did an experiment where he made "inverting glasses" that turned his visual field upside-down and it only took him a few days to get used to it. So I expect that this technique could be used effectively for folks who have damaged retinas (like the poor sod above who lost a spot of his vision due to errant lasers).

        (And for another interesting story along these l

        • by dmbasso (1052166)

          There is a difference between giving vision to someone who never had it and changing the input to a functioning visual cortex.

          Yep, so far you can't give vision to someone who never had it, due to how the brain develops.

          There was some guy who did an experiment where he made "inverting glasses" that turned his visual field upside-down and it only took him a few days to get used to it. So I expect that this technique could be used effectively for folks who have damaged retinas

          Nopz, that experiment does not deal with the first levels of processing... locally (i.e. in the neighborhood of a photoreceptor) the signal has the same properties as before.

          But I know another experiment that is closer to what you had in mind: a geneticist developed a viral therapy to introduce the genes that express the rhodopsin variant that enables UV-vision. After applying to monkeys, they indeed adapted and wer

    • For the EE types: 1 million wires that need to plug into the right hole, and there's no wiring diagram.

      Documentation is for suckers.

  • "I only do eyes!"
  • reminds me, I would like to print new balls for my dog.

    We had him neutered when we first got him, but after a year of living with him, we love him so much that I'm regretting the decision. I want more puppies just like him so that when he dies, we'll have his offspring to keep us company.

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

Working...