Now, researchers have created a new potential treatment for the currently incurable disease – a biohybrid artificial retina, made of silk and loaded with new human cells that can integrate and repair the damage.
AMD is a common cause of blindness among older people, where sight begins to blur in the center of the visual field. Currently there's no way to restore vision once it's lost, but there are treatments to slow down the progression of symptoms, and there are more experimental solutions, such as artificial retinas, bionic eye transplants and gene therapy, in development.
And now, Spanish scientists have developed a new type of artificial retina that could mesh more easily with the human eye. The device is made up of several layers of retinal cells, held together with silk fibroin films and encased in a protective gel. Ultimately, the idea would be to surgically implant these devices into the eyes of AMD patients to restore their vision.