C. Ross Ethier, PhD
Georgia Institute of Technology
Monday, September 9, 2019
11:10 am - 12:30 pm
489 Minor Hall
Monitoring and Treatment of Trabecular Meshwork in Glaucoma: Novel Engineering Approaches
Trabecular meshwork dysfunction underlies most cases of ocular hypertension, the main risk factor for development of glaucomatous optic neuropathy. Here I describe two engineering approaches to treat and monitor trabecular meshwork function. In the first, we seek to improve the efficiency of stem cell delivery to the trabecular meshwork (TM), known to be deficient in cell numbers in primary open-angle glaucoma. Specifically, we use superparamagnetic nanoparticles to magnetically “steer” adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells cells to the TM, as well as to visualize stem cell location using photoacoustic imaging. This approach greatly improves stem cell delivery efficiency. In the second approach, we present two independent techniques for determining TM stiffness, thus demonstrating that stiffness is closely correlated with aqueous outflow facility. We then show how TM stiffness changes in a model of steroid glaucoma and after treatment with an FDA-approved rho kinase inhibitor, and suggest that TM stiffness, measured using OCT imaging, may be a useful surrogate measure of TM function.