Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive eye disease and the leading cause of blindness in developed countries amongst the elderly . The disease affects the macular region of the retina, that is responsible for the central vision. It renders patients unable to perform simple tasks, such as reading, driving and recognizing faces in the advanced stages of the disease.
The complex nature of AMD, combined with the anatomical limitation of the disease to humans, makes the disease difficult to study, as animal models can only model part of the disease and thus are not fully representative of the in vivo human situation .
Organs-on-chips are microfluidic devices with integrated cultured cells in which a microenvironment can be designed that models physiologically relevant biological and mechanical in vivo characteristics in vitro. Mainly the possibilities of culturing multiple human cell types in a single device, having 3D multiscale architecture, tissue-tissue interfaces and flow-induced shear stress aid in overcoming the limitations of conventional 2D and 3D cell culture methods, as well as animal models .
During this workshop, we will give you a short overview of how our retina-on-chip device can benefit research on AMD, by modeling the involved anatomical components in an engineered, physiologically relevant manner. We will focus on the techniques used to fabricate the retina-on-chip, and the readouts used to validate the model.
 J. Ambati, B. K. Ambati, S. H. Yoo, S. Ianchulev, and A. P. Adamis, “Age-related macular degeneration: Etiology, pathogenesis, and therapeutic strategies,” Surv. Ophthalmol., vol. 48, no. 3, pp. 257–293, 2003.
 M. E. Pennesi, M. Neuringer, and R. J. Courtney, “Animal models of age related macular degeneration,” Molecular Aspects of Medicine, vol. 33, no. 4. NIH Public Access, pp. 487–509, Aug-2012.
 S. N. Bhatia and D. E. Ingber, “Microfluidic organs-on-chips,” Nat Biotech, vol. 32, no. 8, pp. 760–772, 2014.