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    Imaging Retinal Cell Death in Preclinical Research 

    Retinal cell death is a central event that leads to retinal neurodegeneration, vascular dysfunction and eventually loss of vision in ocular diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy.  Apoptosis is the main mechanism of cell loss during retinal degeneration in many preclinical models used to study ocular diseases.

    Optical imaging probes for apoptosis enable real time imaging of cell death during preclinical studies rather than relying on post-termination harvesting for analysis. This enables multiple readouts of cell death in a single animal, reducing the need to scale up group sizes and consume more compound, which is often in limited supply during preclinical development.

    Imaging retina cell death in a model of blue light induced apoptosis using a fluorescent imaging probe.
    Left: Control retina. Imaged 5 minutes post intravenous injection of CAS-MAP™ 780 NIR probe. As expected, no probe is evident in the cells.
    Right: Blue light-damaged retina. Imaged 5 minutes post intravenous injection of CAS-MAP™ 780 NIR probe. Probe binding correlates with regions of blue light damage.

    Data generated in collaboration with Jeff Jamison and presented at WMIS 2015.