Development of an organ on a chip model of age-related macular degeneration for biomedical applications

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of vision loss around the world. Despite this, treatment options remain limited, invasive and can induce harmful side effects. The objective of this research is to develop an organ on a chip model of AMD that is cost-effective, reproducible and from which pathology, drug effects and environmental factors can be studied.
ARPE-19 cells were re-differentiated using nicotinamide-supplemented medium and morphology was studied using immunofluorescence. Polycaprolactone nanofibres were electrospun and functionalised with collagen I or IV. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy confirmed immobilisation. Scanning electron microscopy assessed nanofibre morphology. A culture device for resin printing was then modelled using SketchUp 3D design software.
Data validated the use of ARPE-19 cells as representative of native retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Immunofluorescence staining demonstrated that supplemented medium induced differentiated monolayers, possessing ideal cobblestone morphology. A synthetic Bruch’s membrane, analogous to the native tissue, was constructed from electrospun polycaprolactone and its proteomic composition recreated by coating with collagen I or IV. Cell behaviour will be studied on nanofibre substrate to ensure accurate simulation of the RPE. A 3D-printed culture device was developed; this will later include a microfluidic pump, adding fluid dynamics to simulate blood perfusion.
This research outlines the early-stage development of an AMD on a chip platform with a differentiated RPE cell layer and a simulated Bruch’s membrane. Future work will incorporate disease pathology. If successful, this prototype would provide the most detailed model of AMD on a chip available today.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2022
EventTissue and Cell Engineering Society Conference 2022 - University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Jun 202215 Jun 2022


ConferenceTissue and Cell Engineering Society Conference 2022
Abbreviated titleTCES 2022
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of an organ on a chip model of age-related macular degeneration for biomedical applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this