Upgraded Photoswitch for Vision Repair

Researchers improve on a technique to use a light-stimulated small molecule to confer longer-term photosensitivity to the retinal cells of blind mice.

By | April 13, 2017

WIKIMEDIA, RAMAIn 2014, Richard Kramer from the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues described a small molecule called DENAQ, which stimulated responses to light in the degenerated photoreceptors of blind mice. But the treatment required a high concentration of DENAQ, and the effects began to wane after only a couple of days, disappearing altogether after only a week or so. In response to these limitations, Kramer’s team developed BENAQ, “an improved photoswitch that is potent, long-lasting, and safe in large animal eyes,” the researchers reported today (April 13) in Scientific Reports.

In blind mice, BENAQ was 20-fold more potent than DENAQ, the researchers found, restoring the animals’ visual responses for nearly a month. Like DENAQ, the new compound selectively targeted blind retinas, leaving healthy retinas unaffected. Finally, the team demonstrated that BENAQ is nontoxic in mice and rabbits at concentrations ten-fold higher than needed to see the treatment’s effects. “Together, these properties make BENAQ potentially more suitable for future clinical use,” the authors wrote.

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Thousands of Mutations Accumulate in the Human Brain Over a Lifetime
  2. 2017 Top 10 Innovations
    Features 2017 Top 10 Innovations

    From single-cell analysis to whole-genome sequencing, this year’s best new products shine on many levels.

  3. Search for Life on the Red Planet
  4. Two Dozen House Republicans Do an About-Face on Tuition Tax
FreeShip