Développement de modèles tridimensionnels par génie tissulaire pour l'étude des interactions cellulaires et matricielles des tissus jouant un rôle de barrière dans l'œil


Stéphanie Proulx

Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier affilié universitaire de Québec


Domaine : neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Concours 2013-2014


Fondation Antoine Turmel

Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is an eye disease that affects central vision. It is the leading cause of vision loss of Canadians over 50 years old. People with ARMD experience a growing central blind spot, affecting their ability to read, cook, recognise faces. The personal, societal and economic costs of ARMD can be devastating.

There is currently no cure for a subtype of ARMD called "dry ARMD". We propose to use tissue engineering to reconstruct the part of the eye that is affected in dry ARMD. We will thus use the ability of the normal and ill cells to secrete and assemble their own extracellular matrix to reconstruct a thick stromal tissue, without adding any exogenous biomaterial. The final tissue will be completely natural. This approach is unique in the word.

We will then compare the tissue reconstructed from normal and dry ARMD cells to study differences in their composition. Identifying proteins that are expressed differently in ARMD and their effect on the cells will allow us to better understand the disease development.

These engineered tissues will allow the study of interactions between cells in their microenvironment as well as differences between normal and pathologic tissues in a unique, original and controlled manner. The long-term goal of this project is use these engineered tissues to replace the patient's damaged region and prevent vision loss. Thus, the discoveries that will result from these studies may lead to the development of novel strategies for the treatment of this blinding eye disease.