The National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, is seeking ideas for how to develop advances in vitro 3-D human retina organoid models. The goal of the challenge is to turn innovative ideas into concrete concepts for the development of a 3-D system that models the cellular organization and function of the human retina. Full description and details of this prize competition are defined on NEI’s challenge details page.
NEI is seeking innovative solutions to achieve significant advances over currently available protocols to grow retina organoids. As solvers address the evaluation criteria outlined below, they should state how and why they expect their proposed new methods or changes/additions to existing methods will improve aspects of retina organoids. Solutions must outline ideas to produce 3-D retina organoids that:
- Are generated from human cells (derived from iPSC, federally approved ESC, multipotent cells, or adult cells subjected to a combination of transdifferentiation/reprogramming methods);
- Are physiologically and morphologically relevant to normal or disease state; and
- Consist of the major retina cell types and represent their biological functions and interplay.
Solutions that propose to grow cells in 2-D culture using a tissue-on-a-chip system are not of interest for this Challenge. However, creative approaches that incorporate use of microfluidics or perfusion to enhance culture of 3-D organoids are encouraged.