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Using AMD Patient iPSCs to Model Disease

Age‐related macular degeneration (AMD), a multifactorial disease of primates, has confounded efforts that aim to model the disease in laboratory animals or during in vitro culture. However, researchers led by Mark A. Fields (Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA) recently developed a new culture model that mimics aspects of the disease through the implementation of patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). While AMD involves the interactions between the retinal pigment epithelium, a layer of cells necessary for the function of photoreceptors, and the extracellular matrix upon which the epithelium sits, Gong et al. demonstrated that the differences observed between epithelia derived from healthy and AMD patients were exacerbated following cell culture on a mimetic for diseased matrix. For more on how this model provides a robust platform for developing therapeutics, see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now!