The Prospects for Retinal Organoids in Treatment of Retinal Diseases.
This paper reviews the current status and explores future prospects of retinal transplantation therapies possible with pluripotent stem cell derived retinal organoids (ROs). It summarizes rodent disease models; and discusses analytical tools to evaluate RO quality and function. Studies in which RO-derived cells or sheets were transplanted are reviewed. Transplanted RO-derived tissues have allowed improvements in visual function in several retinal degeneration models. The need for optimized tissue differentiation protocols and better RO manufacturing is highlighted. Non-invasive and label-free imaging and electrophysiological testing are promising screening tools for RO quality.
Retinal degeneration (RD) is a significant cause of incurable blindness worldwide. Photoreceptors and retinal pigmented epithelium are irreversibly damaged in advanced RD. Functional replacement of photoreceptors and/or retinal pigmented epithelium cells is a promising approach to restoring vision. This paper reviews the current status and explores future prospects of the transplantation therapy provided by pluripotent stem cell-derived retinal organoids (ROs). This review summarizes the status of rodent RD disease models and discusses RO culture and analytical tools to evaluate RO quality and function. Finally, we review and discuss the studies in which RO-derived cells or sheets were transplanted. In conclusion, methods to derive ROs from pluripotent stem cells have significantly improved and become more efficient in recent years. Meanwhile, more novel technologies are applied to characterize and validate RO quality. However, opportunity remains to optimize tissue differentiation protocols and achieve better RO reproducibility. In order to screen high-quality ROs for downstream applications, approaches such as noninvasive and label-free imaging and electrophysiological functional testing are promising and worth further investigation. Lastly, transplanted RO-derived tissues have allowed improvements in visual function in several RD models, showing promises for clinical applications in the future.