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Retinal explant culture: A platform to investigate human neuro-retina
journal contributionposted on 17.07.2019, 00:00 by A Murali, Charmaine Ramlogan-Steel, S Andrzejewski, Jason Steel, CJ Layton
The retina is the tissue responsible for light detection, in which retinal neurons convert light energy into electrical signals to be transported towards the visual cortex. Damage of retinal neurons leads to neuronal cell death and retinal pathologies, compromising visual acuity and eventually leading to irreversible blindness. Models of retinal neurodegeneration include 2D systems like cell lines, disassociated cultures and co-cultures, and 3D models like organoids, organotypic retinal cultures and animal models. Of these, ex-vivo human retinal cultures are arguably the most suitable models for translational research as they retain complex inter-cellular interactions of the retina and precisely mimic in-situ responses. In this review, we summarise the distinguishing features of the human retina which are important to preserve in experimental culture, the historical development of human retinal culture systems, the factors affecting ex-vivo human retinal culture and the applications and challenges associated with current methods of human retinal explant culture.