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Retinal organoid light responsivity: current status and future opportunities

  • Jessica R. Onyak
    Affiliations
    Department of Biology, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio
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  • M. Natalia Vergara
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests: M. Natalia Vergara, CellSight Ocular Stem Cell and Regeneration Program, Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, 12800 East 19th Avenue, RC-1 North, Room 5106, Aurora, CO 80045.
    Affiliations
    CellSight Ocular Stem Cell and Regeneration Program, Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado
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  • Jordan M. Renna
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests: Jordan M. Renna, University of Akron Department of Biology, 185 E. Mill St., Akron, OH 44236-3908.
    Affiliations
    Department of Biology, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio
    Search for articles by this author
      The ability to generate human retinas in vitro from pluripotent stem cells opened unprecedented opportunities for basic science and for the development of therapeutic approaches for retinal degenerative diseases. Retinal organoid models not only mimic the histoarchitecture and cellular composition of the native retina, but they can achieve a remarkable level of maturation that allows them to respond to light stimulation. However, studies evaluating the nature, magnitude, and properties of light-evoked responsivity from each cell type, in each retinal organoid layer, have been sparse. In this review we discuss the current understanding of retinal organoid function, the technologies used for functional assessment in human retinal organoids, and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

      Abbreviations:

      CNG (cyclic nucleotide-gated channel), HCN (hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel), hESC (human embryonic stem cell), hiPSC (human induced pluripotent stem cell), hPSC (human pluripotent stem cell), IHC (immunohistochemistry), MEA (multi electrode array), NR (neural retina), RPE (retinal pigmented epithelium), TEM (transmission electron microscopy)
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