Experimental Vitreoretinal Surgery

Experimentelle Vitreoretinale Chirurgie

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Research topic

The focus of our division is to understand the relationship between the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), choriocapillaris and photoreceptors.

Our emphasis lies on the role of the (RPE) which is located between the choroid and the neural retina. The RPE is a vital tissue for the maintenance of photoreceptor function and it is also affected by many diseases of the retina and choroid such as age–related macular degeneration (AMD). The two major pigments of the RPE are melanin and lipofuscin whose roles in the eye remain somewhat speculative. We believe that the melanosomes, which are lysosomes, play a key role in protecting photoreceptors from degeneration by supporting RPE cells in handling oxidative stress caused by a combination of phagocytosis of bisretinoids, metabolism, high oxygen pressure and light.

Our other research interests are: transport of proteins after intravitreal application, gene and pharmacological therapies, mechanisms of pathological neovascularisation, complement factors, generation of relevant cellular and animal models for preclinical studies, retinoblastoma and Stargardt disease.