Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Testing corneal cell quality? Apply physics

23.07.2019

Kyoto scientists develop a physical biomarker for cornea restoration therapy

Our eyes -- the windows to the soul -- need constant care, and as we age, they sometimes also need significant repair.


This is a cutaway view of a human eye, showing the honeycomb-like arrangement of corneal endothelial cells.

Credit: Kyoto University/Tomo Narashima

The panes of these windows -- the corneas -- are transparent tissues that have been the focus of some of the oldest and most common transplantation surgeries. Now thanks to researchers in Kyoto, some such transplants may become even safer.

The team, led by Kyoto University physicists and Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine (KPUM) ophthalmologists, has developed a 'quantitative biomarker' that makes it possible to assess the quality of corneal cells -- and even predict their long-term efficacy -- through simple observation. A report on their findings appeared recently in Nature Biomedical Engineering.

"Cornea transplantations become necessary when 'corneal endothelial cells' decrease in number, resulting in haziness," explains project leader Motomu Tanaka.

Endothelia don't multiply well in the human body, which is why there has been a need to rely on the transplantation of donor corneas for treatment. Fortunately, in 2009 a team of ophthalmologists at KPUM succeeded in developing a method to culture the cells in a dish.

"These new cells could then be then transplanted into the eyes of patients and restore their corneas to health," says KPUM's Morio Ueno.

This method has shown significant promise in clinical trials, but two major obstacles to wider application remain: quality control of cells before injection and confirmation of long-term functionality.

Typically, cell quality is assessed through protein expression patterns via 'flow cytometry'. However, a single test requires almost 100,000 cells and relies heavily on the observations and experience of senior professionals.

"Cells in a tissue are constantly interacting with each other to maintain a steady state, called homeostasis," explains first author Akihisa Yamamoto, adding that the concept of 'colloid physics' -- a method for measuring interactions of micro- and nanoparticles -- was employed to assess the cornea cells.

"Calculating the interactions between all cells in the cornea allowed us to find the 'spring constant', correlating with collective cell order."

Assessment is relatively simple. Researchers only need to extract the 'rims' of the cells, either from a microscopic image of the cells in a culture dish or from ophthalmological inspection images of the patients' eyes. Both the quality of the cells and their long-term efficacy can be determined with just one equation.

The procedure has potential applications in preemptive medicine, enabling clinicians and doctors to intervene before more severe symptoms appear.

"Our results are thanks to the united effort of physicists and doctors engaged in regenerative medicine," concludes Tanaka. "We foresee that our 'quantitative biomarker', and the concept behind it, will be applied to other epithelial cell cultures and tissues in the future."

###

The paper "A physical biomarker of the quality of cultured corneal endothelial cells and of the long-term prognosis of corneal restoration in patients" appeared on 22 July 2019 in Nature Biomedical Engineering, with doi: 10.1038/s41551-019-0429-9

About Kyoto University

Kyoto University is one of Japan and Asia's premier research institutions, founded in 1897 and responsible for producing numerous Nobel laureates and winners of other prestigious international prizes. A broad curriculum across the arts and sciences at both undergraduate and graduate levels is complemented by numerous research centers, as well as facilities and offices around Japan and the world. For more information please see: http://www.kyoto-u.ac.jp/en

Media Contact

Raymond Kunikane Terhune
comms@mail2.adm.kyoto-u.ac.jp
81-757-535-728

 @KyotoU_News

http://www.kyoto-u.ac.jp/en

Raymond Kunikane Terhune | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41551-019-0429-9

Further reports about: Biomarker Biomedical Cornea transplantation corneas endothelial cells

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study points to new drug target in fight against cancer
19.09.2019 | Rice University

nachricht Researchers develop tumour growth roadmap
19.09.2019 | Universität Leipzig

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: 'Nanochains' could increase battery capacity, cut charging time

How long the battery of your phone or computer lasts depends on how many lithium ions can be stored in the battery's negative electrode material. If the battery runs out of these ions, it can't generate an electrical current to run a device and ultimately fails.

Materials with a higher lithium ion storage capacity are either too heavy or the wrong shape to replace graphite, the electrode material currently used in...

Im Focus: Stevens team closes in on 'holy grail' of room temperature quantum computing chips

Photons interact on chip-based system with unprecedented efficiency

To process information, photons must interact. However, these tiny packets of light want nothing to do with each other, each passing by without altering the...

Im Focus: Happy hour for time-resolved crystallography

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Hamburg and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) outstation in the city have developed a new method to watch biomolecules at work. This method dramatically simplifies starting enzymatic reactions by mixing a cocktail of small amounts of liquids with protein crystals. Determination of the protein structures at different times after mixing can be assembled into a time-lapse sequence that shows the molecular foundations of biology.

The functions of biomolecules are determined by their motions and structural changes. Yet it is a formidable challenge to understand these dynamic motions.

Im Focus: Modular OLED light strips

At the International Symposium on Automotive Lighting 2019 (ISAL) in Darmstadt from September 23 to 25, 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, will present OLED light strips of any length with additional functionalities for the first time at booth no. 37.

Almost everyone is familiar with light strips for interior design. LED strips are available by the metre in DIY stores around the corner and are just as often...

Im Focus: Tomorrow´s coolants of choice

Scientists assess the potential of magnetic-cooling materials

Later during this century, around 2060, a paradigm shift in global energy consumption is expected: we will spend more energy for cooling than for heating....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

Society 5.0: putting humans at the heart of digitalisation

10.09.2019 | Event News

Interspeech 2019 conference: Alexa and Siri in Graz

04.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quality control in immune communication: Chaperones detect immature signaling molecules in the immune system

20.09.2019 | Life Sciences

Moderately Common Plants Show Highest Relative Losses

20.09.2019 | Life Sciences

The Fluid Fingerprint of Hurricanes

20.09.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>