Dr. Michael Reber is an international innovator in modelling the connection between eye and brain and, thanks to donor support, this new recruit to the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute and the Krembil Research Institute is developing fresh genetic models to show how the chemical and mechanical processes controlling the formation of the connection between eye and brain co-operate. The transfer of visual information from the eye to the optic nerve is the first step in visual processing and a key location target for treating several eye diseases, including glaucoma.
In 2011, Dr. Reber was part of a study exploring an innovative nanotechnology that helped optic nerve cells regenerate. While the technique was proven to work, producing the silk nanofibres used in the eye disease models was an arduous task. To make more advances possible, Dr. Reber is partnering with 3D printing professionals to develop a new method that can produce the required nanofibres more reliably and efficiently.
The goal of Dr. Reber’s team is to use 3D printing to produce the nanofibers that could be implanted in patients – helping to slow, protect and prevent the loss of vision – we may be seeing the future of medicine here today.