Genetic diseases of the organs of vision, such asretinal dystrophy, as well as age-related visual degeneration, are extremely difficult to treat and are the main causes of complete blindness. Studies conducted by an international group of scientists from the universities of Pisa, Genoa, Milan and Granada revealed that the process of loss of vision from such diseases can be stopped, and the affected areas of the eyes restored or replaced. Instead of the traditional large implants used previously for treatment, scientists have proposed the use of nanoparticles.
The main new technique was the use ofconjugated polymer nanoparticles (P3HT-NP) with sensitivity to light, capable of responding to light and transmitting this information to retinal neurons. The use of nanoparticles in degraded, affected areas of the retina does not require additional sources of energy and does not affect other, healthy parts of the eye.
Testing of the new methodology was conducted onrats whose eyes were affected by retinitis pigmentosa leading to complete loss of vision. After a single injection of P3HT-NP nanoparticles, active restoration of visual functions was observed in practically blind rats. As a result of observation of rats for 8 months after a single injection, scientists were convinced of the preservation of the effect of restoration of vision.
The vision restoration mechanism is based onstimulation of intact neurons by nanoparticles, and the whole process took place without inflammatory processes. According to scientists, such results indicate a great potential for the use of nanoparticles for the treatment of organs of vision.