Development of standardized culture, transplantation and banking of RPE cells for treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Basic information:

The project aims to develop a standardized, safe and efficient method for curing dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) - the most frequent cause of visual impairment that currently lacks treatment. The work will bring promising retina pigment epithelial (RPE) cell research to a clinical trial using patient-derived stem cell therapy. The Specific aims are focused at: 1) isolation, cultivation and optimization of human RPE cells, primary hRPEs and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived RPEs; 2) preparation of nanofibrous scaffold; 3) transplantation of hRPE-covered scaffolds in the subretinal space; 4) non-invasive (OCT, mfERG) and end-stage cell and tissue characterization (IHC, tEM); 5) establishment of good manufacturing practice (GMP) protocols and clinical-grade cell banking.

Registration No: TO01000107

Project Duration: 1. 1. 2021 – 30. 4. 2024

Principal investigator: prof. MVDr. Jan Motlík, DrSc.   Ústav živočišné fyziologie a genetiky AV ČR, v. v. i.

Other solver: MUDr. Miroslav Veith      Fakultní nemocnice Královské Vinohrady

Other solver: Professor Goran Petrovski, MD, Ph.D., Dr. habil.   University of Oslo, Center for Eye Research

Other solver: Ing. Hana Studenovská, Ph.D.      Ústav makromolekulární chemie AV ČR, v. v. i.


Contact persons:

Jan Motlík (research) – motlik@iapg.cas.cz

Miroslav Franc (administration) – franc@iapg.cas.cz


Achieved results:

In the project, following works were published:

  • Richard Nagymihaly, Yaroslav Nemesh, Taras Ardan, Jan Motlik, Jon Roger Eidet, Morten C. Moe, Linda Hildegard Bergersen, Lyubomyr Lytvynchuk, Goran Petrovski, The retinal pigment epithelium: at the forefront of the blood-retinal barrier in physiology and disease, Chapter No. 4 in Tissue Barriers in Disease, Injury and Regeneration, ISBN: 978-0-12-818561

  • Lucie Tichotova, Hana Studenovska, Goran Petrovski, Stepan Popelka, Yaroslav Nemesh, Miroslava Sedlackova, Saskia Drutovic, Sonali Rohiwal, Pavla Jendelova, Slaven Erceg, Anna Brymova, Ana Artero-Castro, Lyubomyr Lytvynchuk, Zbynek Stranak, Zdenka Ellederova, Jan Motlık and Taras Ardan, Advantages of nanofibrous membranes for culturing of primary RPE cells compared to commercial scaffolds, in: Acta Ophthalmologica 2021

  • Sonali Suresh Rohiwal, Zdenka Ellederová, Taras Ardan and Jiri Klima, Advancement in Nanostructure-Based Tissue-Engineered Biomaterials for Retinal Degenerative Diseases, in: Biomedicines 2021, 9, 1005